The VAWO will merge with the AOb! What does this mean for PhD candidates?

VAWO members have voted en masse for the merger with the Algemene Onderwijsbond (AOb). Of all the votes cast, 97% were in favor of the merger. The members of AOb also agreed to the merger. This means that starting January 1 2020, the interests of VAWO members will be represented by AOb. In order to do this properly, AOb will set up a new sector especially for academic education and research (WO&O).

But what changes for you as a member?

Remains the same or improves:

  • Legal assistance remains. Regardless of how long people have been members of the VAWO, everyone who is now a VAWO member will be entitled to legal assistance from 1 January 2020. If necessary, even with a lawyer;
  • The AOb also sits at the table to negotiate a strong collective labour agreement (cao);
  • The AOb will continue to draw attention to important themes, such as the experiment with PhD Scholarship students, but also topics such as high work pressure, interweaving of education & research, equal opportunities and social security will remain on the agenda;
  • Events organised by the VAWO (the opening of the Academic Year and the Academy-Kiss) will remain on the agenda. The trade union will also be present on PhD days as usual;
  • Finally: the people will stay! The local representatives, the board and the staff will continue to be committed to you!

What does change:

  • The name changes. VAWO becomes AOb WO&O;
  • The contribution changes. The AOb uses a different system according to income. For PhD students the monthly contribution increases from € 6,- to € 17,85. At many universities you can exchange this contribution for tax purposes. Furthermore, as compensation for the increase, the membership is free for the first three months;
  • The VAWO Visie disappears. Instead, the Onderwijsblad will be published every month, covering all sectors, including education and training;
  • The website and contact details change. The website of the AOb will contain information about the collective agreement (CAO), legal advice, and events.

The ‘look’ may change, but the ‘feel’ remains the same. Often together with PNN, the VAWO is proud to fight for the interests of PhD candidates. For this reason, a PNN board member has been on the VAWO board for years. Within the AOb, PNN continues to stand up for better labor conditions and a stronger position for PhD candidates. PNN looks forward to a good collaboration with the AOb WO&O to work for a healthy academic environment.

Support the manifesto against the experiment with PhD Scholarship students!

PhD scholarship students from the RUG demand in a manifesto the termination of the experiment with PhD Scholarship Students. The experiment has had many negative consequences for them, such as a lower income and less protection from labour law, while the promised advantages of the experiment have been absent. The experiment is a first step in a race to the bottom on labour conditions, and they don’t accept that any longer. You can support the manifesto via this website.

Press release: PhDs demand the termination of the experiment with PhD Scholarship students

This Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019, PhDs at the University of Groningen (RUG) and the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) demand the abolishment of the experiment with PhD Scholarship students. In a manifesto prepared by PhD scholarship students, they indicate that the experiment, in which PhD students were hired as a student rather than as an employee, has led to a deterioration of the research climate. In addition, the well-being of PhD scholarship students has not been taken into account. That is why, in addition to the abolishment of the experiment, they also demand employee status and compensation for the time they have worked as PhD scholarship students. Continue reading “Press release: PhDs demand the termination of the experiment with PhD Scholarship students”