SIPTU representatives have today (Thursday, 10th May) described the National University of Ireland Galway’s (NUIG) gender equality award as a very misleading development. SIPTU Industrial Organiser Noel Maguire, said: “This is a very misleading development. SIPTU representatives are flabbergasted that Athena Swan gave this award when there are many outstanding discrimination cases in the university. He added: “It is deeply concerning that this award gives NUIG disgraceful on discrimination record a new air of respectability. The narrow focus of these awards combined with the cosmetic lustre of a PR campaign provides window dressing that is in gross denial of worker’s experience on the ground.” Maggie Ronayne, the co-chair of SIPTU’s academic section committee at NUIG, said: “The Bronze award is given for outlining what the problems are, combined with an action plan to tackle them. Unfortunately, NUIG hasn’t even come clean on that.” She added: “Two years after its own gender taskforce recommended it, NUIG has failed to implement a promotional scheme for administrative staff, the overwhelming majority of whom are women. The University also has a serious problem with precarious employment and the majority affected are women.  Contrary to the impression given, NUIG is not supportive of these staff and has refused to engage meaningfully with the union’s proposals to collectively tackle this issue.” Louise Campbell, a member of SIPTU’s academic section committee, pointed to a number of problems not mentioned or downplayed by NUIG. She said: “The cases of four women who took legal action against NUIG are still outstanding. The cases of four more women who have been working as lecturers for up to 16 years but are graded as administrative staff are also outstanding. Many other cases of wrong grading, the vast majority of whom are women, remain to be resolved.