The Irish Federation of University teachers (IFUT) has criticised NUI Galway for failing to address outstanding legal and Labour Court cases on blatant gender discrimination, a full two years after the Equality Tribunal ruled against the college in the Sheehy-Skeffington case.
IFUT Deputy General Secretary, Joan Donegan, said that since then a special Committee chaired by former EU Commissioner, Máire-Geoghegan Quinn and an internal NUI Galway task force review have both pointed to an urgent need to end gender discrimination, which NUI Galway has accepted.
“Why is NUI Galway continuing to stall and deny rights to the very women who, by raising the issue in the first place, have drawn attention to and helped change policy at college and national level on gender discrimination?
“The college is effectively punishing the whistleblowers on this issue by prolonging legal wrangling and wasting tax payers money in the process.”
Joan Donegan said that recent statistics show that Ireland ranks last after Malta for its glass ceiling index of the proportion of senior female academics, and NUI Galway ranks last of the Irish universities for its percentage of senior female staff.
“The university had two years ago initiated some changes including ‘cascading’ quotas for women in job promotions.”
“Was this all just cynical public relations in the hope that the issue would then go away?”
“Until the past injustice and discrimination affecting the five women with outstanding cases is resolved, NUI Galway cannot move forward or claim it is addressing gender inequality among its staff and will be in breach of the Geoghegan-Quinn Report and recommendations,” Joan Donegan said.
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