On September the 2nd UiAdoc coordinated a meeting on the topic of the upcoming National Salary Negotiations. The meeting brought together national representatives of Forskerforbundet and representatives of other three doctoral and post-doctoral students organizations in Norway: SoDoC (Norwegian University of Life Sciences), TODOS ( Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø), and UiSDC (University of Stavanger). All members of the Akademikerne union groups that accept PhD union members (such as Tekna) were invited to join the meeting, but no other union accepted our invitation.
The meeting discussed the proposal of the four doctoral and post-doctoral students organizations (UiAdoc, SoDoC, TODOS and UiSDC) to push forward for a review of the salary increase for new PhDs in the national negotiations. The proposal was the following:
Use the yearly national salary negotiations to solve the unequal pay issue;
Negotiate yearly, on behalf of PhDs in Norway, for the following results:
In regular economic years (stable economic growth)- a one salary level increase for newly hired PhDs (with applicability to all PhDs hired from the 1st of January onwards in the year of the respective negotiations;*
In years with extraordinary circumstances (high inflation rate, as it is predicted to happen in 2020)- salary level increase for all PhDs that covers the estimated inflation rate for the respective year on top of the one level salary increase for newly hired PhDs.
The position of Forskerforbundet on our proposal was the following:
There is little hope to get any salary increase for PhDs this year due to the high economic inflation in Norway caused by the COVID-19 pandemic
The current salary scheme and salary agreements are not flexible enough to allow for this proposal
The salary scheme will be reviewed in the following years, and this might be considered as a proposal
It is very hard to represent PhDs that are not unionized.
In conclusion, there is almost no hope to solve this issue of unequal pay in the future, or to gain anything this year from the national salary negotiations that are taking place this month.