DION meeting with NTNU faculties to discuss onboarding

On Wednesday the 17th of October, DION met with representatives of different faculties to talk about “onboarding” in the different faculties. “Onboarding” is the process of welcoming and integrating new employees at NTNU in their different departments. So, onboarding applies to anything that happens between signing the contract and then being able to “start to research properly” – after one has settled in fully. DION conducted a survey about this process and presented the analysis to the different representatives. The goal was to have a discussion about the different measures used by the different faculties. The results of the survey clearly show a difference between the different faculties. Some faculties are very good at distributing useful information even before a new employee has physically arrived at NTNU. Other faculties do almost not manage to support the new employees. Some employees needed more than 24 weeks before they were able to focus on the work they were supposed to do and not be stuck with different bureaucratic processes. The results from the DION survey will be published soon.

The representatives of the different faculties were mainly consisting of people who are either directly involved in the PhD education or HR. Overall, the representatives were very open to hear about even negative results and seemed happy to get information about how critical the situation is. Together, we were able to have a productive discussion and exchange some knowledge on “best practice procedures”. This was supported through the work of Marit Martinsen, who is the leader of a currently ongoing project at NTNU that focuses exactly on the improvement of the onboarding process. She shortly presented the project and its current state. They focus on making a standard “starter package” that will be implemented NTNU-wide to raise the standard at all faculties. The focus is on different topics, but generally improvement shall happen in the areas of structural transparency (who is responsible for what, who can I ask?), social integration, being clear about future perspectives, how to have a good work-life balance and good mental health. The project is supposed to be done by the end of 2020. DION sees a great potential here for collaboration and hopes that we can strengthen our ties in these matters.

Similar meetings will also happen in the future, addressing, e.g. the offboarding process and how research processes can be better communicated as to avoid problems. We are very happy about the outcome of this meeting and feel positive that the onboarding experience at NTNU will improve soon.


DION Grants – Ålesund Special

This is a special shout out to all temporary employees at NTNU Ålesund: We give out 1 special grant for up to 2000 NOK for your event! 

NTNU Trondheim and Gjøvik are well represented in the regular grants, but we do no want to forget about Ålesund, so hurry up and apply! 

Do you have an idea for a social event to strengthen the team spirit among your peers? Would you like to organize a seminar and need a bit of funding? DION might help you.

Please check out the rules for the grants and apply via the application form by Nov. 15, 2020. 

Go, Ålesund!

Salaries negotiations – an update

In October, we shared some information about the debates on the latest round of negotiations affecting PhD candidates’ salaries, which had led to some inequalities between new-hires and staff already in post. Earlier this month, the outcome of the NTNU negotiations was published on Innsida It shows that NTNU is trying to improve the current situation about the unequal payment of employees. We at DION think that the outcry from PhD candidates all over Norway has been heard and we are happy that the unions also put their part forward in this. 

It should be noted that the new negotiations do not lead to senior candidates earning more money than the new candidiates, despite their seniority. However, now at least, senior PhD candidates won’t earn less than new-hires, as it had been the case after the national salary negotiations earlier this year. 

At DION, we applaud the fact that the concerns of PhDs over pay inequalities have been taken into account in these local negotiations. We also appreciate that over time, these changes in salary scales for newly-hired PhDs will lead to better wages for the other categories of temporary scientific staff. However, we regret that the salaries of post-docs and temporary scientific staff currently employed at NTNU, as well as PhD candidates hired before 01.05.2018 have been left out of the current agreement. 

DION has reached out to unions present at NTNU for a statement about the local negotiations and how their members might be affected:

AKAD union 

“For the AKAD labor union group the results of the local salary negotiations are:  

 Doctoral students:

  •  – Doctoral students starting from 1.1.2019 will be raised to the new minimum salary of 479.600.
  •  – Actual salary 1.12.2019 will be computed for doctoral students starting between 1.5.2018 and 31.12.2018. They will have an additional salary increase up to maximum 7.600, lower if they reach 479.600.
  •  Other doctoral students will get 1.55% and the annual raise of 3% each year, resulting in a 4.55% total salary increase in 2019.  
  • – Some doctoral students lack a raise of 2.500 by 1.5.2018 and this will be corrected.

Postdoctoral employees:

  •  Postdoctoral positions will get 1.55% and the automatic increase of 1.1% during 2019 (each year from the month starting). In addition, postdoctors will get an additional raise of 3.000.-  Combined, postdoctors will have a salary increase in 2019 of about 3.15%.”



Forskerforbundet/The Norwegian Association of Researchers (NAR) put forward claims for both Phd. and Post.doc. employees in this years negotiation, in addition to a wider claim for all permanent staff at NTNU with long continued employment at NTNU.

We are satisfied with the result for the Phds, although we understand that some Phds are not. As a trade union our focus is on negotiating better wages for our members. We have unfortunately found that a large percentage of the Phds are not in any union, and therefore not among the employees that NAR prioritize in wage negotiations. Trade unions receive membership fees from their members, and in return the union works for better working conditions for their members, including raising wages in pay negotiations. Employees who choose not to be part of any union will not be considered or prioritized in pay negotiations by us. A lot of the work that the unions do benefit both organized and non organized members, but only the organized members actually pay, and therefore contribute to the work being done by the unions. We understand that the traditions for unions is different around the world, and we therefore find it important to emphasize that unions primarily work for the benefit of their members.

In this years negotiations we put forward a claim to raise the wages for the Phds., but it was not possible to raise the wages for all Phds. First of all, this would have meant using the majority of the money in this years negotiations only on Phds. This is difficult to justify for several reasons, but one of the key reasons for us, most of them are not organized. Choosing an option that would mean that most of our members would receive no raise at all, is not an acceptable option.
The negotiated solution is one that we are satisfied with, because the salary for Phds. has been raised nationally long term, which benefits all new Phds. At the same time, we have locally ensured that those who have just started or are in the beginning of their Phds. get almost the same and in a lot of cases the same salary as those who started 1 May 2019.
With regards to Post-docs we have registered that the employer often offers the lowest possible salary, and that they have one of the worst pay progressions among the different groups of employees at NTNU. For that reason we put forward a claim to make a permanent special agreement that guarantees that post.docs. are given a higher salary when they sign their work contracts than what they have been so far. This is probably not enough to solve this problem, but we find this to be an important step in helping the situation. At the core of this problem, we find that there is a lack of appreciation of post.docs contribution at NTNU. We are pleased that the the other unions and the employer agreed with us in this claim.”

This post will be regularly updated with new resoruces as they become available. 

A night at the movies

Date: 18th October (Friday)

Time: 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Venue: Cinemateket Trondheim

To inaugurate its monthly ‘Night at the Movies’ series and in the spirit of Halloween, DION invites you to an evening of horror and comedy at Cinemateket, to see The Dead Don’t Die.

We will meet from 19:00 at the Cinemateket bar for a drink to build our courage then move to the movie theater at 20:00.
Image may contain: 5 people, text
Tickets are NOK90 (NOK 60 if you’re already a Cinemateket member).
Please purchase your ticket here (Remember to select the Friday option)


About the movie:
By Jim Jarmusch, with Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Tilda Swinton, Chloë Sevigny, Steve Buscemi, Selena Gomez, Caleb Landry Jones, Danny Glover, Iggy Pop, Tom Waits.
Plot: The small town of Centerville is attacked by a hord of zombies raising from the grave. To defend it, three small-town-cops and… a samurai mortician!
Watch the trailer
Read Reviews

Happy Hour (and Shuffle Board) with DION!

Date: 27th September (Friday)

Time: 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Venue: Work-Work, Munkegata

Your favorite event is back! Did you just start the semester and are feeling overwhelmed by all the research you have to do the following months? Don’t worry, you can definitely procrastinate some more.

And what better way to do that by joining fellow researchers for some good-natured competitive shuffle board! Or if you are not that into shuffleboard, Work-Work has a great collection of board games that you can indulge in.

The Board is booked from 18:30 to 19:30, and the pub tables will be ours from 18:00 to 20:30, and it has all been payed for by DION.

After the event, some of us will head to Rockheim, for the Young Researcher’s Night, where there will be talks and conversations mixed with performances and music, and the bar will be open all night. (For more details, check out their event)

So come join us! Make new friends, catch up with old ones, participate in some fun banter and games! Everyone is welcome to stop by and enjoy!

Link to the facebook event