Galway PhDs to protest over low pay and poor work conditions

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PhD researchers in University of Galway are set to protest again over low pay and poor working conditions.

PhDs will assemble at 11am on Thursday, 23 March outside the University’s library, coinciding with a demonstration outside the Dáil.

The latest demo follows a number of protests in 2022 across the country as PhDs looked to secure better pay for their work.

PhD researchers in University of Galway earn, on average, below €18,500 a year far below the minimum wage and living wages in Ireland and only marginally above the poverty line.

The Postgraduate Workers Organisation Galway (PWO) submitted responses this week to the consultation questions of a national review of state supports for PhD researchers.

PWO Galway presented a full submission to the national review, calling for worker status across Irish universities, being paid a living wage, and receiving equal pay for equal work.

Postgraduate Workers Organisation (PWO) of Ireland emerged as Postgraduate Workers Unions across the country joined forces to collectively work for PhD rights.

A spokesperson for PWO Galway explained why this new union emerged, saying that whilst consultation with the Department of Higher Education and Training is ongoing, the national review has so far failed to prioritise the voices of the PhD community.

“The Department should ensure that the national review involves a process of serious and genuine consultation of the PhD researcher community, including by meeting directly with PhD researchers across Irish universities, including at the University of Galway, organising roundtable discussions with us, and listening to our growing needs and concerns.”