Michael Russell MSP

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Michael Russell MSP

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  • Member for: Argyll and Bute
  • Region: Highlands and Islands
  • Party: Scottish National Party

Michael is a member of the following Committees:

Michael is a member of the following Cross-Party Groups:

Parliamentary Activities

Search for other Speeches made by Michael Russell

Meeting of the Parliament 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning (Michael Russell)

The Scottish Government does not hold such information centrally. It is for individual colleges as employers to determine appropriate pay, terms and conditions for their staff.



Meeting of the Parliament 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Michael Russell

I am glad that Ken Macintosh is converted to the concept of national terms and conditions. He and his colleagues voted against it in the Post-16 Education (Scotland) Act 2013, but I am glad that he welcomes it now.

I am keen that harmonisation takes place through negotiation between the trade unions and employers but, as the trade unions will no doubt confirm, that negotiation will have to ensure that no individual suffers in the process and that, over a period, all individuals are satisfied that their interests are being met. That is the aim of the harmonisation process within colleges and nationally, and I am keen that it produces the best results for all staff individually and collectively.



Meeting of the Parliament 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Michael Russell

Absolutely. I am glad that all members—I hope it is all members—now support national pay bargaining, because it is an important element of the reforms that took place.

Colleges Scotland is providing support for a series of committees that will determine the new national salary and terms and conditions of service for the sector. The first meeting of the national joint negotiating committee for college staff took place in June 2014. The process will be difficult and complex, because there were many, many terms and conditions. Indeed, I have made that point often in this chamber—at one stage, there were 43 sets of terms and conditions and only 41 colleges. It will take work, but the unions are engaged in the process; management is engaged in the process; and it is backed by the Government.



Meeting of the Parliament 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning (Michael Russell)

The Scottish Government was opposed to the abolition of the post-study work visa and we want the ability to reintroduce the visa in Scotland. Last week, we submitted evidence to the UK all-party parliamentary group on migration inquiry into the closure of the post-study work route. The evidence made clear the negative impact that the closure of the route has had on international student numbers, on businesses and on universities and colleges.



Meeting of the Parliament 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Michael Russell

Indeed. Of course, the clearest and most obvious way to have immigration controlled by the Scottish Parliament would be to support independence. However, given the present constitutional set-up, it is more than possible to see how migration and immigration issues could be devolved. Indeed, if Gordon Brown is honest to his intention of introducing a federal structure, there are federal structures that work in that way. For example, in Quebec, there is shared sovereignty over the issues of migration. Of course, in those circumstances, I would want control of the issue to be vested in this Parliament so that we can advantage Scotland and advantage those who want to come and study and work here.



Meeting of the Parliament 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning (Michael Russell)

The information is not held centrally, but I have asked the chief executive of the Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council to write to the member.



Meeting of the Parliament 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Michael Russell

Of course, the Government has no knowledge of arrangements that are made between employers and employees, but I am very happy to say to the member that I thoroughly disapprove of circumstances in which individuals are seen to be in receipt of payments whose amount is questioned by other people. I have said that about university salaries, I have said that about other salaries, and I say that about severance payments. A sense of responsibility needs to be observed in such matters, so I am quite happy to work with the member and others to ensure that, if questions are raised—as there have been over that case and others—those questions are fully investigated and any responsibility is understood.



Meeting of the Parliament 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning (Michael Russell)

In the academic year 2013-14, the Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council introduced 850 fully funded postgraduate diploma and masters places up to 2016-17. Encouraging more Scottish students to participate in postgraduate study is a priority for the Government. Increased participation in postgraduate study can help to improve employment prospects for graduates and the competitiveness of the Scottish economy. We have been examining our overall support package for taught postgraduate students, and I intend to make an announcement about that in the near future.



Meeting of the Parliament 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Michael Russell

I am glad that Roderick Campbell has drawn attention to the additional loan for living costs that will be available from 2015-16. I acknowledge his long-standing interest in the matter, in particular in the funding of the postgraduate legal diploma.

We are examining our overall support package for taught postgraduate students, as I have said, including the eligible course list, which is a complex matter given the range of subjects. As I promised Roderick Campbell, I will make an announcement about that in the near future.



Meeting of the Parliament 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Michael Russell

I am glad that Mary Scanlon is concerned about that. It is important that we support students in every way that we can. One of the main disincentives for study, both at undergraduate and at postgraduate level, is the level of debt that will be incurred. In Scotland, we have the lowest level of undergraduate debt, and I intend to keep it that way. We now want to ensure that postgraduate students, given the debt that they incur, are similarly helped. The announcements that I have made to date have been directed towards that aim.

More can be done. We are operating in a hostile financial environment, and in an environment in which there is considerable pressure south of the border to increase student borrowings. If Mary Scanlon will lend her support to the Government in its aim to keep Scottish education free, that will assist Scottish recruitment to postgraduate study over time. I will be glad to have that support from Tory members.

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

S4M-11123 Joe FitzPatrick on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau: Business Motion—That the Parliament
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YesCarried

S4M-11114.2 Kenny MacAskill: Policing—As an amendment to motion S4M-11114 in the name of Graeme Pear
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YesCarried

S4M-11114 Graeme Pearson: Policing—That the Parliament acknowledges that policing in Scotland contin
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YesCarried

S4M-11116.1.1 Patrick Harvie: Scotland’s Future—As an amendment to amendment S4M-11116.1 in the name
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YesCarried

S4M-11116.1 Nicola Sturgeon: Scotland’s Future—As an amendment to motion S4M-11116 in the name of Jo
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YesCarried

S4M-11116 Johann Lamont: Scotland’s Future—That the Parliament recognises the result of the independ
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YesCarried

Amendment 61 moved by Elaine Murray on motion S4M-11101 Kenny MacAskill: Courts Reform (Scotland) Bi
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NoDefeated

Amendment 62 moved by Margaret Mitchell on motion S4M-11101 Kenny MacAskill: Courts Reform (Scotland
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NoDefeated

Amendment 63 moved by Margaret Mitchell on motion S4M-11101 Kenny MacAskill: Courts Reform (Scotland
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NoDefeated

Amendment 64 moved by Margaret Mitchell on motion S4M-11101 Kenny MacAskill: Courts Reform (Scotland
>> Show more
NoDefeated

Search for other Motions lodged by Michael Russell
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-10645: Michael Russell, Argyll and Bute, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 23/07/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10643: Michael Russell, Argyll and Bute, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 23/07/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-07108: Michael Russell, Argyll and Bute, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 20/06/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-06843.2: Michael Russell, Argyll and Bute, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 04/06/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-06059: Michael Russell, Argyll and Bute, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 25/03/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-05652: Michael Russell, Argyll and Bute, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 18/02/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-05506.1: Michael Russell, Argyll and Bute, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 29/01/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-04914: Michael Russell, Argyll and Bute, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 20/11/2012 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-04787.2: Michael Russell, Argyll and Bute, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 13/11/2012 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-03155: Michael Russell, Argyll and Bute, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 31/05/2012 Show Full Motion >>
This Member currently holds a ministerial post. First Minister and Ministers cannot ask the Government questions which is why no recent questions are displaying here. Please use the full search to find details of previous questions by this Member.
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S1W-34795: Michael Russell, South of Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/03/2003 Show Full Question >>
Question S1W-34790: Michael Russell, South of Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/03/2003 Show Full Question >>
Question S1W-34794: Michael Russell, South of Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/03/2003 Show Full Question >>
Question S1W-34796: Michael Russell, South of Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/03/2003 Show Full Question >>
Question S1W-34793: Michael Russell, South of Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/03/2003 Show Full Question >>
Question S1W-34797: Michael Russell, South of Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/03/2003 Show Full Question >>
Question S1W-34791: Michael Russell, South of Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/03/2003 Show Full Question >>
Question S1W-34792: Michael Russell, South of Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/03/2003 Show Full Question >>
Question S1W-34798: Michael Russell, South of Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/03/2003 Show Full Question >>
Question S1W-34799: Michael Russell, South of Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/03/2003 Show Full Question >>

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