Better pay demanded for support staff in higher education, research
Ljubljana, 21 September - Employees in higher education and research staged a rally in Ljubljana on Thursday to demand better pay for support staff, arguing that this is essential for the development of science and research.
They say support staff such as lab technicians, system administrators, maintenance technicians and administrative staff are in an unenviable position in the ongoing talks on public sector wages.
And while the government's last offer for this group is better, the proposed time frame of pay rises is "so stretched out that public sector wages will have declined by 6-7% by 2027," said Gorazd Kovačič, president of the Trade Union of Higher Education.
Kovačič spoke of the "staffing disintegration of public services," which is particularly pressing when it comes to entry-level jobs in academia.
Oto Lutar, the head of the Research Centre at the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, said support staff had been "pushed to the background" in pay talks.
The rally was organised by the March for Science, a group that has staged multiple protests in the past several years, in conjunction with public universities and research centres.