All Student Vote (Summer 2023)
Warwick PGRs as staff to be paid the Real Living Wage
To lobby the university for (graduate teaching assistants) GTAs to be paid the real living wage and to ensure that no decisions are made around education policy without the consideration and insights of PGRs at Warwick.
This Union Notes:
This section should include any facts, figures or statements that you believe are relevant to the topic of your policy. Remember in this section clear and effective referencing is important.
- The University values its postgraduate researcher (PGR) community and their contribution to the institution’s core mission and values
- Doctoral College has introduced a PGR strategy which provides a framework for the University to support PGRs in the next few years.
- Warwick PGR collective has publicised its demands. This includes introducing monthly and periodical bursary schemes for PGRs in line with inflation.
- The University supports the principle that PGRs should have the same status as staff
- Two surveys have now been published which highlights the impact of cost of living on PGRs and the issues that GTAs face.
- UCU postgrads have published their manifesto which affirms their commitment to recognise PGRs as staff
This Union Believes:
This section should include opinions or supporting statements for your policy.
- PGRs should be treated as staff.
- All PGRs that undertake teaching, supervisory practice, marking, administrative tasks, invigilation and office hours must be paid in line with the real living wage which proper contracts.
- The university treats PGRs as staff and then as students when it is convenient for them.
- Precarious GTA contracts impact equity, reproducing inequalities in relation to race, gender, disability and class and impacting stress and wellbeing.
- PGRs are often the most overworked and stretched cohorts at Warwick University. This is because they undertake intense research and writing and undergo teaching contracts to help pay for everyday costs.
- Despite the University increasing its internal funding rate in line with UKRI, PGRs at Warwick still face increasing financial hardship.
- International PGRs have suffered the most; this is because of the immigration costs as well as high tuition fees that exist in comparison to home students.
This Union Resolves:
This section should be about how you want the SU to react, the outcome of this policy. Remember to
mandate specific departments/sabbatical officers; this will make things easier for future accountability
- Below are resolves that should be pushed by the VP Postgraduate and VP Education Officer.
- To support Warwick PGR collectives in the work that they do with respect to the demands put forward.
- To lobby the University to ensure that as researchers, PGR should be paid for their time contributing to staff meetings, projects, and initiatives.
- To lobby the University to ensure GTAs are paid in line with the Real Living Wage. This includes ensuring the University hands out contracts on time and are not required to carry out any unpaid teaching duties
- To lobby the University against using Unitemps to hire PGRs and replace those jobs under GTA contracts.
- To lobby the University to bring back funded extension for PGRs.
- To lobby the University to extend the Travel and Access grant to all international PGRs.
- Lobby for the remaining demands of UCU PGR reps as per the ‘PGR as staff’ and ‘Better wage’ campaigns.
- To lobby the University in line with UCU postgrads manifesto ‘PGR as staff’.
- To meet regularly with national UCU Postgrad representatives to discuss the changing landscape of PGRs working conditions and to work them to strategies campaigns locally at Warwick
B) Below are resolves that should be pushed by the VP Postgraduate and VP Education Officer and must be embedded within the Students Union.
- To ensure to have regular meetings with Warwick PGR collectives and UCU to discuss issues facing PGRs at Warwick.
- To ensure that no decisions are made around education policy without the consideration and insights of PGRs at Warwick.
- To update the SU advice page and SU webpage to include ALL relevant information for PGRs. This must be updated before the start of every academic year and must be ongoing progress.
- To explore feasibility of PGR academic council to include all PGR SSLCs and members from Warwick PGR collectives and PGRs in UCU or UCU members.
- For the President to support this motion and the above-mentioned officers actively in the lobbying and organising required for this motion to succeed.