An emergency meeting of the SIPTU academic section at NUI Galway will take place today (Thursday, 8th January) at 1.00 p.m. to debate a motion proposing an external equality audit by independent experts of all aspects of the university. The motion calls for the university to “eliminate all facets of structural discrimination” in the institution with an audit that will "hold hearings where staff may present evidence". It also requests that SIPTU be involved in agreeing the external expert body in order to assure staff of its independence.A new sub-committee of the union in NUI Galway has been established to address the equality issues at the university. The sub-committee stated in relation to the equality issues: “The unacceptable state of affairs in the university must be rectified as a matter of urgency and not allowed to drift over a number of years”.According to the committee, women academics in NUI Galway are not alone in facing discrimination. It stated: “If this is happening to women academics in a university, what are women on low and no pay facing including other women staff on campus? Furthermore, actively and concretely addressing this issue is of concern to all staff regardless of gender.” Representatives of staff in other sections of SIPTU on the NUI Galway campus will also attend today’s emergency meeting.