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Further Education and Training Bill 2013: Report Stage (Continued)

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 806 No. 2

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(Speaker Continuing)

[Deputy Ciarán Cannon: Information on Ciarán Cannon Zoom on Ciarán Cannon]  Amendment No. 16 is a drafting amendment arising as a result of the size of the board. It increases from seven to eight the number of appointments that are subject to consultation with the Minister for Social Protection and the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. Amendment No. 17 is a drafting amendment that arises as a result of the insertion of a new subsection in section 10(3). Following discussions on Committee Stage and at a subsequent informal meeting I am bringing forward amendment No. 18 to include a provision in the Bill for the Minister to appoint a representative of learners' interests to the board of SOLAS. This is in keeping with a number of pieces of legislation in the education sector in recent times and bearing in mind that the ultimate aim of SOLAS is to provide the very best possible experience for our learners in the future. It is only appropriate that those learners would have a representative on the board of SOLAS. Amendment No. 18 provides for the appointment of that representative to the board of SOLAS by the Minister. Amendment No. 19 is a drafting amendment that arises due to the increase in the size of the board. It provides that the number of board members to serve for four years in respect of the initial board is increased from three to four. Amendment No. 19 is again a drafting amendment that arises due to the increase in the size of the board. It provides that the number of board members to serve for five years in respect of the initial board is increased from three to four.

Deputy Charlie McConalogue: Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue I endorse the amendments. I note the importance of taking the steps to expand the board slightly in order to cater for additional members and particularly the specific amendment to ensure a representative of the learners and those in the further education and community sector can be included on the board.

  Amendment agreed to.

Deputy Ciarán Cannon: Information on Ciarán Cannon Zoom on Ciarán Cannon I move amendment No. 16:

In page 9, line 20, to delete “7 shall be appointed” and substitute “8 shall be appointed”.

  Amendment agreed to.

Deputy Ciarán Cannon: Information on Ciarán Cannon Zoom on Ciarán Cannon I move amendment No. 17:

In page 9, line 30, to delete “and”.

  Amendment agreed to.

Deputy Ciarán Cannon: Information on Ciarán Cannon Zoom on Ciarán Cannon I move amendment No. 18:

In page 9, line 35, to delete “paragraph (a).” and substitute the following:

paragraph (a),

(c) one shall be appointed by the Minister from among persons who in his or her opinion are representative of the interests of persons who are, for the time being, in receipt of further education and training.”.

  Amendment agreed to.

Deputy Ciarán Cannon: Information on Ciarán Cannon Zoom on Ciarán Cannon I move amendment No. 19:

In page 10, line 4, to delete “3 members” and substitute “4 members”.

  Amendment agreed to.

Deputy Ciarán Cannon: Information on Ciarán Cannon Zoom on Ciarán Cannon I move amendment No. 20:

In page 10, line 7, to delete “3 members” and substitute “4 members”.

 Amendment agreed to.

Deputy Ciarán Cannon: Information on Ciarán Cannon Zoom on Ciarán Cannon I move amendment No. 21:

  In page 15, line 3, to delete “a training body” and substitute “an education and training board”.

  Amendment agreed to.

Deputy Ciarán Cannon: Information on Ciarán Cannon Zoom on Ciarán Cannon I move amendment No. 22:

In page 15, line 7, to delete “a training body” and substitute “an education and training board”.

  Amendment agreed to.

Deputy Ciarán Cannon: Information on Ciarán Cannon Zoom on Ciarán Cannon I move amendment No. 23:

In page 15, line 20, to delete “a training body” and substitute “an education and training board”.

  Amendment agreed to.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Michael Kitt Zoom on Michael Kitt Amendments Nos. 24 and 25 are related and may be discussed together.

Deputy Ciarán Cannon: Information on Ciarán Cannon Zoom on Ciarán Cannon I move amendment No. 24:

In page 18, line 9, to delete “any” and substitute “a”.

This is a technical drafting amendment relating to the transfer of staff from FÁS to SOLAS. Amendment No. 25 is also a technical drafting amendment relating to the transfer of staff from FÁS to SOLAS.

  Amendment agreed to.

Deputy Ciarán Cannon: Information on Ciarán Cannon Zoom on Ciarán Cannon I move amendment No. 25:

In page 18, line 14, to delete “beneficial” and substitute “favourable”.

  Amendment agreed to.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Michael Kitt Zoom on Michael Kitt Amendment No. 26 arises out of committee proceedings.

Deputy Ciarán Cannon: Information on Ciarán Cannon Zoom on Ciarán Cannon I move amendment No. 26:

In page 18, to delete lines 29 to 37 and substitute the following:

29.—(1) As soon as may be after the establishment day, An tSeirbhís shall prepare and submit to the Minister a scheme or schemes for the granting of superannuation benefits to or in respect of—

(a) persons who were accepted into its employment in accordance with section 28,

(b) such other members of its staff (including the chief executive but not including persons to whom the Single Public Service Pension Scheme applies by virtue of Chapter 2 of Part 2 of the Public Service Pensions (Single Scheme and Other Provisions) Act 2012) as it considers appropriate, and

(c) former members of the staff (other than those who were accepted into the employment of An tSeirbhís in accordance with section 28) of the dissolved body, including those who are deceased.

(2) Every such scheme shall fix the time and conditions of retirement for all persons to, or in respect of whom, superannuation benefits are payable under the scheme, and different times and conditions may be fixed in respect of different classes of persons.

“Superannuation.

(3) An tSeirbhís may at any time prepare and submit to the Minister a scheme amending or revoking a scheme previously submitted and approved under this section.

(4) A scheme or amending scheme submitted to the Minister under this section shall, if approved by the Minister with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, be carried out by An tSeirbhís in accordance with its terms.

(5) (a) If any dispute arises as to the claim of any person to, or the amount of, any superannuation benefit pursuant to a scheme under this section, such dispute shall be submitted to such person and determined in such manner as may be specified in the scheme.

(b) A scheme under this section shall make provision for an appeal from a

determination of a person referred to in paragraph (a) to such other person as may be specified in the scheme.

(6) A superannuation benefit shall not be granted by An tSeirbhís to or in respect of any of its staff (including the chief executive) who are members of a scheme under this section and no other arrangement shall be entered into for the provision of any superannuation benefit to such persons on their ceasing to hold office, other than in accordance with such scheme or schemes submitted and approved under this section or an arrangement approved by the Minister and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

(7) (a) Save in accordance with a collective agreement negotiated with a recognised trade union or staff association and approved by the Minister with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, a scheme under subsection (1) shall, as respects—

(i) a person accepted into the employment of An tSeirbhís in accordance with section 28, or

(ii) a former member of the staff of the dissolved body referred to in paragraph (c) of subsection (1), provide for the granting to or in respect of him or her of superannuation

benefits upon and subject to such terms and conditions as are not less favourable to him or her than the terms and conditions in relation to the grant of such benefits that applied to him or her immediately before the establishment day.

(b) Any period of service by a person as a member of the staff of the dissolved body which was a period of reckonable service for the purposes of a scheme for the granting of superannuation benefits to or in respect of members of the staff of the dissolved body shall be regarded as a period of reckonable service for the purposes of any scheme under subsection (1).

(8) (a) Where, in the period beginning on the establishment day and ending immediately before the commencement of a scheme under this section, a superannuation benefit falls due for payment to or in respect of a person who was accepted into the employment of An tSeirbhís in accordance with section 28, the benefit shall be calculated and paid by An tSeirbhís in accordance with such scheme, arrangements or enactments in relation to superannuation, as applied to the person immediately before the establishment day and, for that purpose, his or her pensionable service with An tSeirbhís shall be aggregated with his or her previous pensionable service.

(b) Where, in the period beginning on the establishment day and ending immediately before the commencement of a scheme under this section, a superannuation benefit falls due for payment to or in respect of a person (including a person who is deceased) who was a member of the staff of the dissolved body but was not accepted into the employment of An tSeirbhís in accordance with section 28, the benefit shall be calculated and paid by An tSeirbhís in accordance with such scheme, arrangements or enactments in relation to superannuation, as applied to the person immediately before the establishment day.

(9) The Minister shall cause every scheme submitted and approved under this section to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is approved, and if either such House within the next 21 days on which that House sits after the scheme is laid before it, passes a resolution annulling the scheme, the scheme shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to anything previously done thereunder.”.

This amendment is a revision of the superannuation provisions currently set out in the Bill. It reflects the standard provision for this type of organisation. It takes account of the provisions of the Public Services Act 2012 and it also takes account of the current policy provisions in relation to superannuation in the public service generally. The amendment provides that SOLAS shall prepare and submit to the Minister a superannuation scheme for the staff of the organisation. The scheme is subject to the approval of the Minister with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform and each scheme shall be laid before both Houses of the Oireachtas.

  Amendment agreed to.

Deputy Ciarán Cannon: Information on Ciarán Cannon Zoom on Ciarán Cannon I move amendment No. 27:

In page 21, line 34, to delete “to a fine not exceeding €5,000” and substitute “to a class A fine”.

This is a technical drafting amendment to take account of the Fines Act 2010 which will future-proof the level of the fine.

  Amendment agreed to.

Deputy Ciarán Cannon: Information on Ciarán Cannon Zoom on Ciarán Cannon I move amendment No. 28:

In page 22, to delete lines 21 to 24 and substitute the following:

“(c) References in any enactment or instrument under an enactment to An Foras Áiseanna Saothair (howsoever described) shall be construed as references to An tSeirbhís save where other provision is made as respects the construction of the first-mentioned references by any enactment passed before the passing of this Act.”.

The amendment is a standard provision in legislation and provides that references to FÁS in other primary and secondary legislation will be construed as references to SOLAS.

  Amendment agreed to.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Michael Kitt Zoom on Michael Kitt Amendment No. 29 is a drafting amendment arising out of committee proceedings.

Deputy Ciarán Cannon: Information on Ciarán Cannon Zoom on Ciarán Cannon I move amendment No. 29:

In page 23, line 50, to delete “associations” and substitute “association”.

This is a technical drafting amendment correcting a word in section 43(3).

  Amendment agreed to.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Michael Kitt Zoom on Michael Kitt Amendments Nos. 30, 41, 42 and 43 are related and may be discussed together.

Deputy Ciarán Cannon: Information on Ciarán Cannon Zoom on Ciarán Cannon I move amendment No. 30:

In page 24, between lines 34 and 35, to insert the following:

45.—In this Part “property vesting day” has the meaning assigned to it by section 46* .”.

Amendment No. 30 provides for the definition of "vesting day" in respect of the transfer of property for SOLAS to the education and training boards. FÁS training centres will be transferred initially to SOLAS and then to the appropriate education and training board. Amendment No. 41 provides that the Minister may, from time to time, transfer SOLAS property to the education and training boards. All functions relating to this property shall be transferred to the education and training boards. Amendment No. 42 provides that all rights and liabilities in respect of the property transfer from SOLAS to the education and training boards will also be transferred. Amendment No. 43 provides that anything commenced by SOLAS prior to the vesting day shall be completed by the appropriate education and training board. This will provide again for the continuity of service following the transfer of training centres to the education and training boards.

  Amendment agreed to.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Michael Kitt Zoom on Michael Kitt Amendments Nos. 31, 33 and 37 are related and may be discussed together.

Deputy Ciarán Cannon: Information on Ciarán Cannon Zoom on Ciarán Cannon I move amendment No. 31:

In page 24, to delete lines 35 to 37 and substitute the following:

“45.—(1) The Minister may designate for employment by an education and training board specified by him or her a person who is a member of the staff of An tSeirbhís.”.

Amendment No. 31 is a technical drafting amendment relating to the transfer of staff from SOLAS to the education and training boards as set out in section 45 of the Bill. Amendment No. 33 is a technical drafting amendment that relates to the transfer of staff from SOLAS to the education and training boards as set out in section 45 of the Bill. Amendment No. 37 is a technical drafting amendment relating to the transfer of staff from SOLAS to the education and training boards as set out in section 45 of the Bill.

  Amendment agreed to.

Deputy Ciarán Cannon: Information on Ciarán Cannon Zoom on Ciarán Cannon I move amendment No. 32:

In page 24, lines 38 and 39, to delete “a training body” and substitute “an education and training board”.

  Amendment agreed to.

Deputy Ciarán Cannon: Information on Ciarán Cannon Zoom on Ciarán Cannon I move amendment No. 33:

In page 24, lines 39 and 40, to delete “immediately before the transfer day”.

  Amendment agreed to.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Michael Kitt Zoom on Michael Kitt Amendments Nos. 34 to 36, inclusive, and 38 are related and may be discussed together.

Deputy Ciarán Cannon: Information on Ciarán Cannon Zoom on Ciarán Cannon I move amendment No. 34:

In page 25, to delete lines 1 to 4 and substitute the following:

“(3) Save in accordance with a collective agreement negotiated with a recognised trade union or staff association and approved by the Minister with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, an education and training board shall accept into its employment on the employment transfer day in accordance with this section any person who immediately before that day is a member of the staff of An tSeirbhís and is designated by the Minister for employment by that education and training board, on such terms and conditions of service relating to remuneration as are not less favourable than the terms and conditions of service relating to remuneration to which the person was subject immediately before that day.”.

Amendment No. 34 is a technical drafting amendment providing that the terms and conditions for a person transferred from SOLAS to the education and training board shall be no less favourable than the terms and conditions of service relating to remuneration to which the person was subject immediately before the transfer date. Amendment No. 35 is a technical drafting amendment that provides for the deletion of section 45(4). These provisions have been replaced by the provisions contained in amendment No. 34. Amendment No. 36 is a technical drafting amendment that provides that the terms and conditions relating to superannuation as applied to the person immediately before the employment transfer day shall apply following the transfer to an education and training board. Amendment No. 38 is a technical drafting amendment to amend "transfer day" and substitute "employment transfer day" in section 45(7).

  Amendment agreed to.

Deputy Ciarán Cannon: Information on Ciarán Cannon Zoom on Ciarán Cannon I move amendment No. 35:

In page 25, to delete lines 5 to 14.

  Amendment agreed to.

Deputy Ciarán Cannon: Information on Ciarán Cannon Zoom on Ciarán Cannon I move amendment No. 36:

In page 25, to delete lines 15 to 25 and substitute the following:

“(5) Save in accordance with a collective agreement negotiated with a recognised trade union or staff association and approved by the Minister with the consent of the

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, the entitlement to any superannuation benefit of a person who was—

(a) accepted into the employment of An tSeirbhís in accordance with section 28, and (b) subsequently designated under this section and accepted into the employment of an education and training board, shall be determined, and the benefit shall be calculated and paid, by the education and training board in accordance with such scheme, arrangements or enactments in relation to superannuation, as applied to the person immediately before the employment transfer day and, for that purpose, his or her pensionable service with the education and training board shall be aggregated with his or her previous pensionable service (including his or her pensionable service with An tSeirbhís).”.

  Amendment agreed to.

Deputy Ciarán Cannon: Information on Ciarán Cannon Zoom on Ciarán Cannon I move amendment No. 37:

In page 25, lines 26 and 27, to delete all words from and including “transferred” in line 26 down to and including “section” in line 27 and substitute the following:

“who were accepted into the employment of an education and training board in accordance with this section”.

  Amendment agreed to.

Deputy Ciarán Cannon: Information on Ciarán Cannon Zoom on Ciarán Cannon I move amendment No. 38:

In page 25, line 34, to delete “transfer day” and substitute “employment transfer day”.

  Amendment agreed to.

Deputy Ciarán Cannon: Information on Ciarán Cannon Zoom on Ciarán Cannon I move amendment No. 39:

  In page 25, line 35, to delete “a training body” and substitute “an education and training board”.

  Amendment agreed to.

Deputy Ciarán Cannon: Information on Ciarán Cannon Zoom on Ciarán Cannon I move amendment No. 40:

In page 25, lines 37 and 38, to delete “training body” and substitute “education and training board”.

  Amendment agreed to.

Deputy Ciarán Cannon: Information on Ciarán Cannon Zoom on Ciarán Cannon I move amendment No. 41:

In page 25, between lines 39 and 40, to insert the following:

46.—(1) The Minister may, from time to time, by order, appoint a day (in this section referred to as a “property vesting day”) for the purposes of this section and different property vesting days may be so appointed in relation to different education and training boards.

(2) An order under this section shall designate such land or other property of An tSeirbhís and such education and training board as the Minister may determine for the purposes of this section.

(3) On a property vesting day any land designated by the order and all rights, powers and privileges relating to or connected with such land shall, without any conveyance or assignment, stand vested in the education and training board designated by the order for all the estate or interest therein that, immediately before that day, was vested in An tSeirbhís, but subject to all trusts and equities affecting the land continuing to subsist and being capable of being performed.

(4) On a property vesting day all property (other than land), including choses-inaction, designated by the order that immediately before that day, was vested in An tSeirbhís shall, without any assignment, stand vested in the education and training board designated by the order.

(5) Every chose-in-action vested in an education and training board by virtue of subsection (4) may, on and after the property vesting day concerned, be sued on, recovered or enforced by the education and training board in its own name, and it shall not be necessary for the education and training board or An tSeirbhís to give notice to any person bound by the chose-in-action of the vesting effected by that subsection.

(6) All functions of An tSeirbhís connected with any land or other property standing vested in an education and training board by virtue of this section shall, from the property vesting day concerned, be performable by that education and training board in relation to such land or property.”.

  Amendment agreed to.

Deputy Ciarán Cannon: Information on Ciarán Cannon Zoom on Ciarán Cannon I move amendment No. 42:

In page 25, between lines 39 and 40, to insert the following:

47.—(1) All rights and liabilities of An tSeirbhís—

(a) subsisting immediately before a property vesting day, and (b) arising by virtue of any contract or commitment (expressed or implied)—

(i) relating to any land or property designated by the order under section 46* that appointed that day, or (ii) for the provision of a service that immediately before that day was

provided on land so designated, shall on that day stand transferred to the education and training board designated by that order.

(2) Every right and liability transferred by subsection (1) to an education and training board may, on and after the property vesting day on which the right or liability stood transferred, be sued on, recovered or enforced by or against the education and training board concerned in its own name, and it shall not be necessary for the education and training board or An tSeirbhís to give notice to the person whose right or liability is transferred by that subsection of its transfer.

(3) Every lease, licence, wayleave or permission granted by An tSeirbhís in relation to land or other property vested in an education and training board by or under this Act, and in force immediately before the property vesting day concerned, shall continue in force as if granted by that education and training board.”.

  Amendment agreed to.

Debate adjourned.


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