Two weeks ago our petition was discussed by the Science, Education and Culture Committee of the National Council (WBK-NR/CSEC-CN): It accepted the concerns of our petition and for the first time, a political body recognizes the urgency of the need for a culture change at higher education institutions in Switzerland.
Accordingly, it proposes to the National Council to instruct the Federal Council (Bundesrat / Conseil fédéral) as follows:
- The Federal Council 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.
- The Federal Council needs to examine whether a significant number of stable positions for postdoctoral researchers can be created.
This is excellent news and an essential step towards a sustainable change in the academic system of Switzerland. However, the National Council (Nationalrat / Conseil national) still needs to vote on the committee’s proposal – and if the proposal is rejected, it could throw us back to square one.
This means we need you NOW to convince members of the National Council to vote in favor of the committee’s postulate: you need to explain to your representatives at the National Council what the situation is like at Swiss higher education institutions, what the lack of long-term perspectives means, and why we need the culture and structures for mid-level staff to change now: for better teaching, research, and working conditions!
- If you have connections to members of the National Council, please reach out to them personally and explain what needs to change and why.
- If you don’t have any direct contacts, write to them by snail mail, by e-mail, or reach out via social media. Both as individuals and, if you are affiliated with any academic associations, in the name of your associations.
The politicians need to know now that these concerns and issues are not just lamented by a small group of people – but are widespread and change is absolutely necessary! Coordinated action across the Swiss higher education institutions and across all the research fields can now build an unprecedented momentum in this year-long battle.
We have prepared a list of reasons and a document of principles and measures that will help you become a well-informed advocate for structural change in the Swiss higher education system in a matter of minutes. And of course, get in touch with us if you have further questions about what you can do to advocate for a better future for Swiss higher education institutions.
We know you all have a lot on your plate, but please make sure you find a minute to fight for change – for yourself and for all of us!
With our very best of wishes,
Your Petition Committee
P.S. for Early Career Researchers: Please also get involved in your mid-level staff association or in the Petition Committee – we desperately need more hands on deck to manage the workload!