Tuesday, 26 January 2016
Technological Universities Bill 2015: Report Stage
In the Munster region, the Cork and Kerry case, the merger is very far down the line and they are meeting all the criteria. The Minister mentioned the expert panel report which found they are on course. However, the very people who are being asked to deliver the high quality education in a technological university are in dispute. They have no faith in the process and they feel excluded from it. While the Minister may say the governing bodies and institutes should consult the academic staff, in reality they are not engaging constructively. This is the major issue.
While the Minister may say the amendments would give a veto to the trade unions, I say they would ensure there is full co-operation from all stakeholders in the project before an application is made for technological university status. Although the Minister may say it is not a good idea to give vetoes to any one particular organisation, we had no problem giving vetoes to banks regarding personal insolvency. We cannot have it both ways.
The purpose of the amendments is to ensure the Minister cannot make an order for designation as a technological university until all the stakeholders are in agreement. It is a very fair and rational proposal.
If the Minister proceeds with a proposal that would allow one group of stakeholders to make an application while another group of stakeholders feels completely isolated from the process and not part of it, she will be heading for serious industrial strife.