Dear members of actionuni,
A few weeks have now passed since the beginning of the state of exception and the lockdown of all higher-level education institutions in Switzerland.
These are challenging times for us all and especially for the many among us with fixed-term contracts whose work is heavily impacted by the current state of affairs. The actionuni board truly hope you’ve managed to find a satisfying balance between home-office tasks, care-taking duties, remote teaching and home-schooling, impending deadlines, queuing outside supermarkets and post-offices etc.
We believe that, now more than ever, it is vital that each one of our member associations keeps regular and constructive open channels with upper level management at their respective university, while gathering evidence on challenges mid-level academic staff faces on a daily basis. This will allow for a serious discussion of mid-level staff concerns, anxieties and measures taken to reduce the disastrous impact this situation is already having on our peers.
For this reason, please let us know of any initiative concerning the current crisis and/or official communication between your association and upper level management. This will allow us to act as a coordinating platform for the sharing of information and experiences, both positive and negative.
If you already have concrete information on how:
- your university plans on handling fixed-term contracts;
- compensation measures for lost experimental material and research time will be enacted;
- tools to allow mid-level staff to proceed with didactic tasks have been implemented;
please let us know as soon as possible so we can share experiences and potential solutions across our membership.
Aside from university-specific measures, the Swiss National Science Foundation, a major national contributor to mid-level staff activities and salaries, has also adopted specific measures to deal with this crisis.
Swissuniversities, the umbrella association of Swiss higher education institutions, has listed dedicated webpages from the different universities regarding measures and strongly supported a call to publishers to make relevant research accessible.
There is much anxiety and at times confusion as to what the future holds. We’ll do our best to inform you and support you whenever possible. Most importantly, we wish you all the best in these trying times and look forward to your news and communications.
From the board of actionuni