The board of UiAdoc would like to inform all PhDs at UiA that our initiative for resolving the issue of unequal pay for the PhDs has not been resolved in a satisfactory manner. The agreement reached between UiA and the Unions’ representatives states that the issue raised by UiAdoc and backed up by over 600 PhDs across Norway was not a priority at the moment. The motivation for this decision was that the raise for the PhD salaries has been dealt with in the national level negotiations in May. Therefore, UiAdoc on behalf of all the PhDs at UiA and all of our colleagues in Norway who signed the petition launched on September 26, have to express its deep disappointment with this decision. Our voice was not heard this time.
We, however, need to remember that PhDs account for more than 16% of all the employees at UiA. Only in 2019, approximately 100 new PhDs were hired, thus making it one of the largest employee groups at the university. PhDs are carrying out a significant amount of work, including: mentoring, teaching, and research but also informal support for newly employed peers. We are also the group that most supports the international presence of UiA through our publications and presence in international conferences. At the same time, our group is at the bottom of the academic salary ladder. Taking all of this into account, UiAdoc considers that the agreement made between the university and the union representatives is unfair and will most certainly send a negative message on a national level, especially considering that the University of Bergen and NTNU already made arrangements to solve the problem for their PhDs.
UiAdoc is sincerely hoping that UiA will follow the example of the other Norwegian universities who were eager to take action and resolve this pressing issue. We offer our availability to work together with both university and union representatives in the future to find more satisfactory solutions to increase the salaries of the PhD group without leaving anyone behind.
On behalf of all PhD students at UiA.
The UiAdoc Board