We are elated: the National Council voted in support of our demands and the Postulat 22.3390 “Für Chancengleichheit und die Förderung des akademischen Nachwuchses / Pour l’égalité des chances et le soutien de la relève scientifique” on June 9! You can read up on the details here.
With this postulate, the Federal Council (Bundesrat / Conseil fédéral) now
- needs to conduct a detailed investigation and issue a report on questions of precariousness and equal opportunity for the mid-level staff at Swiss higher education institutions.
- needs to examine whether a significant number of stable positions for postdoctoral researchers can be created.
Our most sincere thanks go to Marie-France Roth Pasquier, Sandra Locher Benguerel and the Science, Education and Culture Committee of the National Council (WBK-NR/CSEC-CN), the Frauensession 2021, as well as to the parliamentarians of the SP, the Green Party, the Center, and the Green Liberals who voted for this postulate: Thank you for this essential step towards a sustainable change in the academic system of Switzerland!
When we started this work almost two years ago, we did not expect to get this far – we are incredibly proud and grateful! Proud of what we have achieved, and deeply grateful for everyone’s support: we achieved this thanks to your support in signing this petition and cheering us on, we achieved this thanks to the support of the professors who continue to speak out publicly and within the institutions. We achieved this thanks to the Swiss Young Academy’s organization of key roundtable meetings with all the stakeholders, and last but very much not least we achieved this thanks to all the midlevel staff associations and actionuni and their tireless work in representing the interests of early career researchers.
Together, step by step, stone by stone we can build a more sustainable, inclusive, and equitable higher education system in Switzerland.
We will continue our political work (also on a cantonal level) and we will continue to keep you updated … but first, we need a summer break – the last few weeks and months have been intense.
With our very best of wishes for a wonderful summer!
Your Petition Committee
P.S.: There is a second important initiative at the moment by the 500 Women Scientists to take action and improve the situation for women in Swiss academia. The aim is to firmly establish gender equality criteria and specific, verifiable goals in the accreditation process as a means of quality control for universities. StrukturElle has therefore taken legal action to change laws and regulations in academia to establish SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound) criteria and conduct annual monitoring. Please check out their website here for more details: https://www.500womenscientistsfribourgbern.ch/accreditation-initiative