Better contracts for PhD students?
PhD students sometimes are presented with peculiar employment contracts of the kind the collective labour agreement (CLA) does not allow. For example, PhD positions at Dutch universities are supposed to be full-time for four years; that’s what the CLA says. But quite often the work is part-time, the contract is for three years or there are additional teaching duties.
Every year, PhD Network Netherlands (PNN) puts this to the test by analysing all the job vacancy ads for new doctoral students. The most recent Monitor of Employment Conditions for the year 2019 states that many postings are somewhat vague, and for at least 12 percent, candidates were offered a “dubious contract”.
The PNN has drawn up a checklist and sent it to all the HR directors via the university association. “It lists exactly what requirements a PhD job vacancy has to meet according to the PNN”, chairperson Rosanne Anholt explains. “We now have to wait and see whether, and if so when, this kind of thing makes its way through to the departments.”
The employers have told the Minister that their HR departments are using the checklist for composing their job postings, Van Engelshoven writes. Anholt is hoping that PhD students will notice the results. (HOP, Evelien Flink, Translation: Taalcentrum-VU)