Technological Universities Bill 2015: Committee Stage (Continued)

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Select Sub-Committee on Education and Skills Debate
Vol. 2 No. 23

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(Speaker Continuing)

[Deputy Jan O'Sullivan: Information on Deputy Jan O'Sullivan Zoom on Deputy Jan O'Sullivan] Therefore, these consortiums have already completed the stage of the process set down in Chapter 3 of Part 2 and are working towards a full merger in the near future. For that reason, Chapter 1 provides for the merging of DIT with IT, Blanchardstown and IT, Tallaght while Chapter 2, including sections 10 and 11, provides for the merging of CIT and IT, Tralee, as the next steps of the process on which those institutions have embarked. To be clear, these are not forced mergers, as characterised by some. Each of the consortiums has of its own accord come together to work towards achieving technological university status. The purpose of Chapters 1 and 2 of Part 2, including sections 10 and 11, is simply to ensure that these consortiums are not required to go back to square one and be reassessed by an expert panel. For that reason, the proposal by the Deputy that sections 7 and 10 be deleted from the Bill cannot be supported. Essentially, it is to facilitate the process which is ongoing.

Chairman: Information on Joanna Tuffy Zoom on Joanna Tuffy To clarify, it does not appear that there was a submission by Deputy O'Brien to oppose the section. It is not listed here. It is listed for sections 10 and 11.

Deputy Jonathan O'Brien: Information on Jonathan O'Brien Zoom on Jonathan O'Brien I understand that but I am just saying that when section 7 is-----

Chairman: Information on Joanna Tuffy Zoom on Joanna Tuffy Are you saying-----

Deputy Jonathan O'Brien: Information on Jonathan O'Brien Zoom on Jonathan O'Brien I will be putting forward an amendment on Report Stage in respect of section 7 but I will also oppose it today. In relation to sections 10 and 11-----

Chairman: Information on Joanna Tuffy Zoom on Joanna Tuffy We will come to those in due course, Deputy, if you do not mind. I am trying to be helpful. Do you intend to table an amendment to the section as opposed to opposing it?

Deputy Jonathan O'Brien: Information on Jonathan O'Brien Zoom on Jonathan O'Brien Ideally, I would like to see it deleted but if not, I will table an amendment to provide that the dissolution day would only happen following an application by the governing bodies and-or the president. The application would be accompanied by a statement that the terms of the merger have been agreed with staff trade unions. This would be the basis to the amendment.

Deputy Jan O'Sullivan: Information on Jan O'Sullivan Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan The points that I made on section 10 apply similarly to section 7, so when we come to section 10, I have already covered the response. I understand Deputy O'Brien will propose an amendment rather than just oppose the section.

Deputy Jonathan O'Brien: Information on Jonathan O'Brien Zoom on Jonathan O'Brien An amendment will more than likely be tabled.

Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan: Information on Maureen O'Sullivan Zoom on Maureen O'Sullivan To go back to that point, I know that extensive discussions have taken place but the main trade union, which is the TUI, has concerns. While it is not opposed to the idea of a technological university, there are concerns. One of those concerns is that a merger can go ahead without agreement from the staff trade union. The amendment will be to ensure that those issues are addressed before a merger can go ahead.

Deputy Jan O'Sullivan: Information on Jan O'Sullivan Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan We can debate those points on Report Stage. There are no amendments before us right now but it is helpful to know what are the Deputies' concerns.

Question put and declared carried.

Sections 8 and 9 agreed to.

SECTION 10

Question proposed: "That section 10 stand part of the Bill."

Chairman: Information on Joanna Tuffy Zoom on Joanna Tuffy This section is being opposed by Deputy O'Brien. Does he wish to say anything further on it?

Deputy Jonathan O'Brien: Information on Jonathan O'Brien Zoom on Jonathan O'Brien No, we have covered it.

Chairman: Information on Joanna Tuffy Zoom on Joanna Tuffy Does the Minister wish to add anything?

Deputy Jan O'Sullivan: Information on Jan O'Sullivan Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan No.


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