As stated, the PhDs from VCR sent an email to HR to inquire about certain monetairy aspects of our lives. We finally got an appointment (to which I didn’t go, since there are 6 people on the committee, and all 6 of us might have been too much) but we tried not to expect too much.

That was a good idea, since we didn’t get much either. HR emphasized that this un-increase in gross salary was a one-off (but no promises for later either, or whether it would be made up since that will depend on the economic crisis). HR also mentioned that they wouldn’t tell people in the future to expect such a pay-raise (although how they want to keep it equal with the university is unclear). Furthermore there are apparently new contracts which should address this, but we’ve been unable to see them. We’ll just have to ask the next PhD student to come in whether we can see their contract, I guess. Actually, the HR people seemed somewhat pissed off that we dared to ask for our promised increase because while we got half, they didn’t get anything. Of course, they probably are on a higher pay-scale than we are anyway, so an increase might not make such a big difference for them.

HR also felt disinclined to discuss guidlines for managers, so we’ll have to see how we’re going to approach this and whether we need a different set for managers and for supervisors. The problem is that the only people we can be consistently certain of that new PhD students will see are the HR people. So we would need their cooperation to distribute these kind of papers. Maybe it’s time to find out who the real diplomats amongst us are.