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Graduate researchers petition University of Galway for fair pay


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Graduate researchers petition University of Galway for fair pay

PhD researchers from the University of Galway have come together to demand the immediate reversal in a cut to their college earnings.

They have delivered a petition to President Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh and Deputy President and Registrar Pól Ó Dochartaigh – signed by hundreds of staff, faculty, and students, including over 200 PhDs – calling for the immediate reversal of the Graduate Teaching Policy (GTA). “At the start of this academic term, the University Management Team introduced the GTA,” explained a spokesperson for the Postgraduate Workers Alliance.

“This policy unilaterally modifies the terms and conditions of teaching, including a substantial payment reduction for PhD workers. It also removes previous claimable activities such as exam correction, work relevant emails, and marking assignments.

“The new policy raises serious concerns for our community and comes amidst a growing cost of living and housing crisis, which rapidly deteriorate our ability to have a living wage. Schools within the university have interpreted the policy differently, creating further confusion and pay disparity among PhDs.”

The PGWA spokesperson said they wanted to see the immediate reversal of this decision to reduce teaching pay – and for the university to recognise them as formal employees, guaranteeing maternity leave, sick leave, and holiday pay.

They also want to see the university make a sincere effort to ensuring PhD workers are paid a living wage of €28,000 per annum.

Postgraduate Representative of University of Galway’s Governing Authority Criodán Ó Murchú concurred with PGWA’s statements.

“For too long, the university has seen PhDs as a scapegoat to complete unpaid and time-consuming work,” he said.

PhDs are the backbone of research and technological development in universities and deserve to be recognised as such.”

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