Date Released: 16 May 2016
SIPTU members have highlighted crucial flaws in the report of the NUI Galway gender task force which was appointed by the management of the university to examine discrimination against women in the institution.
SIPTU Equality Committee at NUI Galway spokesperson, Maggie Ronayne, said: “We need action not optics. The task force and its report are not independent and its focus is too narrow.
“The task force was not trusted by staff and students, receiving only 38 original submissions out of a total staff of 2,310 and a student body of over 17,000. While the report acknowledges that gender inequality is evident across the University, it holds no-one accountable for this. This report is very far from the independent review demanded by SIPTU.
“There are some positive elements in the report. Unfortunately, these are accompanied by many fundamental flaws. It does not tackle the real problems faced by the majority of those working and studying at the university, a majority of whom are women.”
She added: “The report fails to address, in any meaningful way, the discrimination and unfair treatment faced by administrative, general operative and technical staff, academics and others on precarious contracts or casually employed, researchers or students. The few recommendations regarding some of these staff or students are token gestures or misguided proposals which may make matters worse.
“The report proposes actions which may result in more academic women being promoted to senior positions. However, gender quotas are not a long-term solution to the underlying problem of institutional discrimination across all grades of staff. Quotas will not resolve the fundamental, underlying problem of unfair treatment of those with caring responsibilities, a majority of whom are women."