The Postgraduate Workers’ Association
What we stand for
- We believe that students who work in higher education are professionals like any other, deserving of the respect, pay and conditions which should also be afforded to their non-student colleagues. We are not free or cheap labour to be exploited, or to be used to undercut our colleagues’ pay and conditions.
- Student workers, like other workers, are entitled to:
- comprehensive written contracts
- fair pay for every hour worked
- holiday and sick pay
- stable and secure work and income
- free and adequate training opportunities and feedback to improve their abilities
- healthy, safe workplaces
- trade union representation
- equal, free access to the resources they need to perform their job
- fractionalised contracts where appropriate to the nature of the work
- no threats, or implicit threats, of academic repercussions for matters of employment
- Research students, as early career researchers, are entitled to adequate and fair access to paid teaching opportunities to develop this aspect of their academic skills. Recruitment practices must be fair, transparent and open.
- We exist to nurture and coordinate the struggle for improvements in the conditions faced by postgraduate students working in higher education. We aim to organise ourselves as postgraduate students into a mass, democratic movement that fights to advance our interests using every appropriate method, including industrial action, protest, non-violent direct action, and institutional negotiation and lobbying. We will work with all relevant campaigns and organisations, including UCU and other trade unions, NUS and student unions, UCU Left, the Education Activist Network and the National Campaign Against Fees & Cuts.
- We stand in solidarity with, not against, our colleagues and fellow students. We will never seek to make gains at the unfair expense of other members of our communities. We support free, publicly funded education accessible to all, maintenance grants for all students, and fair pay, pensions and conditions for all workers. We oppose fees and the marketization and privatization of education. We support action taken to advance these principles, in this country and abroad.