Tuesday 23 October 2018

Five female lecturers to bring NUIG to court over promotions

Legal proceedings: Adrienne Gorman, Sylvie Lannergrand, Roisin Healey, Micheline Sheehy Skeffington, Margaret Hodgins and Elizabeth Tilley at NUIG. Photo: Andrew Downes
Legal proceedings: Adrienne Gorman, Sylvie Lannergrand, Roisin Healey, Micheline Sheehy Skeffington, Margaret Hodgins and Elizabeth Tilley at NUIG. Photo: Andrew Downes
Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford

FIVE female lecturers at NUI Galway are to start legal proceedings against the University in the Circuit Court later this week.

The five lecturers - who were overlooked for promotion despite being deemed eligible - said they had decided to take the case because no solution was forthcoming following talks with the university.

Yesterday, the university announced it would promote three staff members to senior lecturer posts after carrying out a review of its processes following that case.

However, a spokesperson for the women said they did not believe they were among those promoted.

"We will initiate legal proceedings in the Circuit Court this week. We would much prefer not to have to go to court, but so far we've reached no solution and we are coming up to the six-month deadline we have since we were informed of our cases," said Dr Roisin Healey.

Dr Roisin Healey, Dr Elizabeth Tilley, Dr Adrienne Gorman, Dr Sylvie Lannegrand and Dr Margaret Hodgins had all been deemed eligible for promotion to senior lecturer posts in 2009, but were all turned down.

Their cases were raised by the Equality Tribunal when it found in favour of former botany lecturer Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington that she had been discriminated against on the grounds of gender. The university was ordered to promote the botany lecturer, who has since taken early retirement.

Following the ruling the university requested a report of the recommendations made by the Senior Lecturer Appeals Board for the 2014 promotions round.

It has now announced that it will promote three further staff members, but would not confirm if they were female lecturers.

"The Governing Authority accepted a recommendation of the report to promote to senior lecturer status an additional three staff members as a result of a number of scoring errors in the 2014 senior lecturer promotion process," a statement from the university said.

The college has also announced that it intends to write to the Irish University Association and the Higher Education Authority to call for an equality review of the entire Higher Education sector.

"It is clear from the recent Higher Education Authority Report on gender division in senior academic posts in Irish Higher Education that gender equality is an issue for the whole Higher Education sector in Ireland. The University intends to write to the Irish University Association and the Higher Education Authority to request that the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) be approached to carry out an Equality Review of the entire Higher Education sector," it added.

It also announced that following a meeting of the University's Governing Authority, it has agreed to implement a number of recommendations to develop the university's policies and procedures regarding gender equality.

A statement from the university said it would now review the Senior Lecturer promotion process in light of the 2008/2009 and 2013/2014 campaigns.

Irish Independent

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