Press Release

SIPTU representatives warn NUIG discrimination court cases are just the tip of the iceberg

Date Released: 25 July 2018

SIPTU representatives have today (Wednesday, 25th July) warned that the four academics who reached a settlement in the High Court represent the tip of the iceberg regarding gender discrimination at National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG).


Maggie Ronayne, the co-chair of SIPTU’s academic section committee at NUIG, said: “While we are all delighted that our four colleagues reached a settlement, our campaign has always highlighted that these cases are only the tip of the iceberg. Discriminatory and unfair employment practices faced by women and men across all grades at the university is rife.

“The fact that women are disadvantaged in the workplace because of caring responsibilities was referred to in the original Sheehy Skeffington equality tribunal ruling. It is unacceptable that women continue to face unfair treatment at NUIG because of this caring work.”

She added: “NUIG also has a serious problem with low paid and precarious employment. The majority of those affected are women. These include cleaners, researchers, teaching and catering staff. The rampant outsourcing of jobs has also led to even lower pay and worse conditions for academic support tutors for students with disabilities.”

SIPTU Industrial Organiser Noel Maguire, said: ‘These cases could have been resolved long ago if management had not refused to acknowledge and tackle the systemic discrimination at NUIG.

Instead, management used public money on damage limitation campaigns and now has ended up paying for substantial costs on this settlement.’

He added: “Two years after its own gender taskforce recommended the creation of a promotional scheme for administrative staff in response to discrimination, no such scheme has been introduced. We are calling for the new university President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh to get involved to address this crisis and to assist in solving the problematic industrial relations climate at NUIG.”


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