Call for implementation of gender pay gap recommendation

University Teachers group seeks ‘clear and detailed public statement’ from Minister on NUIG gender issue

The Irish Federation of University Teachers has called on the Minister for Education Jan O'Sullivan to implement a European Commission recommendation on improving pay transparency which would help close the gender pay gap.

Deputy general secretary Joan Donegan has also called on Ms O’Sullivan to make a “clear and detailed public statement” on the “extent of the crisis at NUI Galway” (NUIG).

Earlier this month, Ms O'Sullivan urged NUIG to ensure there is "proper consultation" with staff on the issue of gender equality. Ms O'Sullivan told reporters at an Impact education division conference in Galway that she believed the university's decision to establish a task force on gender equality in the wake of a recent Equality Tribunal ruling in favour of Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington was a "positive response". However, the task force "needs to be effective, and to be effective there needs to be proper consultation", Ms O'Sullivan added.

Ms Donegan referred to the”regrettable” Equality Tribunal report’s finding that men were in minority at lecturer grade and in the majority at senior lecturer level at NUIG. She said that the European Commission has estimated that, at the current rate of progress, equal pay would not be achieved until 2185.


"In Ireland the pay gap is deteriorating – it was 14.4 per cent in 2012 but has risen from 12.6 per cent in 2009,"she said.

“Member states including Ireland have to report to the European Commission by the end of this year on the actions they have taken on foot of this recommendation.” Ms O’Sullivan should set out “clear actions as requested”.

Lorna Siggins

Lorna Siggins

Lorna Siggins is the former western and marine correspondent of The Irish Times