Coronavirus situation at NTNU and temporary scientific staff – update from the unions

In May 2020, we reached out to the unions present at NTNU to share your views on the situation of temporary scientific staff further to the coronavirus situation and related NTNU’s response. You can read their statements below.

As the situation is evolving, we hope to maintain an open channel of communication with unions regarding the case of temporary scientific staff and we will regularly update this page with more information as they become available.

Statement from Forskerforbundet

“Forskerforbundet (NAR) are concerned about the situation for postdocs and temporary researchers due to corona. NAR at NTNU have addressed these issues on several occasions in meetings with Rector. We have especially emphasized the need for guidelines for extension of postdoc positions. We also underlined this need in a recently interview with Universitetsavisa. We have been informed that NTNU soon will be ready to discuss possible guidelines with the unions. In addition, we are answering questions from individual members related to this. Our main advice is to document any delays caused by corona.

We will also work to secure that international employees with contracts expiring this Spring will not be forced to go back to their home country if they do not have access to proper health services there. The consequences corona might have on research funding is also something we are focusing on. Until now we have not received many inquiries related to this, but we expect that problems related to funding might occur in a longer time frame. 

NAR at central level is working with the same issues. The President of NAR has sent a letter to the Ministry of Education and Research, strongly encouraging them to establish temporary national guidelines for extension of postdocs and PhDs. Other activities related to the corona situation involve webinars for members to keep them informed about their rights. NAR organized a webinar for PhD and Postdocs in the beginning of April, and we plan a similar event in June. 

We appreciate that we can have this kind of dialogue with DION in these special circumstances.”


Statement from Akademikerne NTNU

“Akademikerne NTNU has throughout the Corona-crisis expressed concern towards the work-situation of the temporary staff and brought this faculty group on the agenda of meetings concerning the handling of the Corona-crisis. We have multiple times proclaimed that the postdocs and other temporary faculty are left out of the discussions. As of now, only PhDs meeting the requirements stated in “Extention due to the coronavirus pandemic for PhD candidates” at Innsida are eligible for an extension. While postdocs and other temporary employees cannot apply for an extension, we are pleased that NTNU has focused on extensions for PhDs which have the most pressing schedule to produce results. With that said, Akademikerne wished for a less strict guideline for an extension.

Akademikerne-NTNU is always there for its members and will continue to promote the temporary staff of NTNU. We do not have any member-events planned right now, but we are available to help our members both regarding difficult situations that can occur as a result of the Corona-crisis and for other inquiries.”