Dáil debates

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Technological Universities Bill 2015: Report Stage


7:40 pm

Photo of Jonathan O'BrienJonathan O'Brien (Cork North Central, Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

I move amendment No. 11:

In page 13, to delete lines 30 to 35.

This relates to what we have just discussed - that is, the provision for merging the institutes. Under the legislation, a draft order would be laid before the Houses, as the Minister explained, and it would be voted on by both the Dáil and Seanad before the resolution could be approved.

We include this amendment because we do not want to see a situation arise in relation to section 7, which relates to the merger of the Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown and the Institute of Technology, Tallaght, and to the merger in Munster, that of the IOTs in Tralee and Cork, which is currently in progress, particularly given that the merger involving Cork is the subject of industrial action. As part of this grouping, Deputies Maureen O’Sullivan, McConalogue and I have tabled amendment No. 16, which states:

In page 14, line 20, after "subsection (2)" to insert the following:", which order shall be made following application from the governing bodies and presidents of each of the constituent colleges and said application shall include a statement that the terms of the merger have been agreed with the staff trade unions".

We propose that before the order comes to the Minister's desk, there would have to be agreement at governing body level with the staff and the trade unions, and at that point a request can be made for technological university status. If we do not put that in, we could have a situation in which a request is made even if there are still industrial relations disputes or issues within the proposed merger, and the Minister would have the power to place the order before the Houses.

Before an order arrives on the Minister's desk, there should be agreement by all parties, namely, the governing bodies, presidents, staff and trade unions.


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