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Working in Norway? Know your rights!

Without the work of foreign researchers, Norwegian research would collapse. But not everyone working in Norway is aware of their rights. Join our free webinar on October 19 to learn more about them.

Researchers Mohammad Masoudi (UiO), Svetlana Sokolova (UiT) and Viviana Daza Ramos (UiO) are among the international NAR members sharing their views on organizing in our Working in Norway-section at www.forskerforbundet.no

A rising number of researchers working in Norway come from abroad. According to the report «Science & Technology Indicators for Norway 2021», made by the The Research Council of Norway, 29 percent of the researchers working at universities, research institutes or in healthcare, are foreign citizens. In 2007 the percentage was 18.

The rapid growth of foreign researchers is also visible amongst NAR's members. A growing number of our members choose English as their preferred language, according to Joar Flynn Jensen, NAR's Organization Manager.

– Science and research has become a highly global enterprise. But the rules and conditions in everyday work life in Norway can be hard to understand for many foreign researchers, says Jensen.

A characteristic of the Norwegian workforce is the high percentage of employees being unionized. At state-owned higher education and research institutions, around 80 percent of the staff is organised. In the home countries of many of the researchers working in Norway, union membership may be rare, state-controlled or even forbidden.

– For some foreign researchers, the so-called "Nordic Model" might be hard to comprehend. A three-way co-operation between trade unions, employers and authorities is at the core of the model and helps create a highly regulated and stable labour market. For this model to function, a high degree of employees must organize, Flynn Jensen explains.

Foreign researchers are less likely to organize compared to their Norwegian colleagues.

– We want foreign researchers to have equal pay, the same rights, and the same working conditions as all other employees in Norwegian research. To achieve this, we have to organize more of the foreign workforce, and teach them about their rights, Jensen continues.

On the 19th of October, Forskerforbundet hosts a free webinar for PhDs and postdoctoral fellows working in Norway.

– We will give a brief introduction to the terms and conditions of employment as PhD and postdoc and provide some tips on how to improve your salary. You don't have to be a member of Forskerforbundet to sign up for the webinar, so you're welcome to bring a colleague, Jensen says.

You can register for the webinar here.

On www.forskerforbundet.no/english you will find more information about Forskerforbundet and the role of trade unions in Norway. You can also find information in English about the Norwegian system of wage negotiations, various acts and regulations relating to working life in Norway, and information for PhD candidates and post-doctoral research fellows.

(Article from Forskerforum 8/2022)

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