Thursday, 28 January 2016
Technological Universities Bill 2015: Report Stage (Resumed)
It is crucial that the Government work with staff representatives and trade unions from the outset when it proposes reform. We have seen the impact of its failure to do so when it proposed other reform measures, specifically reform of the junior certificate examination, when it did not work with all stakeholders and failed from the outset to engage with them and ensure they had an input in the process. Stakeholders must be comfortable with the reform's objectives. It would be a mistake to pass this Bill before the general election without allowing sufficient time to ensure the outstanding concerns of trade union representatives are addressed. The Government must learn lessons and engage further with the relevant trade unions to try to ensure everyone is comfortable with the legislation.
On the amendments, it would be appropriate to make clear in the Bill that the voices of trade union and staff representatives should be heard and that they are able to make representations. I ask the Minister of State to accept the amendments.