For Decent Work in Academia

For Decent Work in Academia is a campaign of the Trade Union of Science from Serbia.
Our goals are:

  • Safe jobs for all researchers: prompt regulation of legal framework and work status of young employees in academia in accordance to law;
  • Equal wages for equal work: correction of pay disparities and equal work compensation in the wages of researchers of the same category;
  • Consistent implementation of laws in the academia!

For over a decade, our wages have been subjected to a model which should have meant constant competition between colleagues in order to get higher wages. The government failed to maintain this model and officially dropped it 3 years ago. However, the wages that we get today are still determined by the initial ranking from 2011, and all the young colleagues who were not subjected to this ranking were awarded the middle-low category. These discrepancies can amount to up to 70% higher wages, or an average mortgage loan, with no meaningful reason.
Furthermore, in the last decade we have witnessed a deterioration of security of job in academia. Researchers who work in faculties have no security, with one-year contracts as a standard, and no guaranteed long-term financing of the programmes. Non-teaching institutes are also discouraged by the government to offer secure job contracts before PhD, which is often in collision with Serbian Labour Law.
The aim of this campaign is to move everyone employed in the academia in Serbia to stand up for the fulfillment of these minimal demands laid out by our Trade Union. The Trade Union of Science from Serbia was founded 20 years ago, it is a representative union (with more that 15% of all employees in academia being members), it has been involved in dialogue with the government in the whole process of reforming the academia. Now, we have lost trust in the government that it’s willing to even implement their own laws and we call upon wide solidarity for our demands!
We have invited everyone who works in academia to join our campaign. Whether you suffer from lack of appropriate compensation for your work, whether you have a one year contract, or you wish to express solidarity with your younger colleagues, let us show unity in support of the basic demands of the Trade Union of Science from Serbia.
We have also invited the public to support our campaign and our demands! We consider education and science to be crucial for our country, but we cannot urge young generations to educate, to choose to be professional researchers, and to build their lives and raise their families in Serbia, while our work is indignified and insecure. For decades, our profession has provided an opportunity for social mobility and we believe this should continue to be the case. We also invite all workers and union members in Serbia to support our cause, because if the government is breaking the Labor law in the academia, how can we expect that anyone else will obey it and provide the minimum rights for workers that this law affords.
Finally, we now ask for the international solidarity! We understand that the issues we are against in Serbia are part of the bigger picture. Precarity and convoluted byzantine schemes for determining unequal compensations for work in academia are increasingly becoming part of the reality of our profession, and we believe this is not only against basic labor rights, but also to the detriment of the quality of our research.
To join our campaign, contact us at:

Support us on social media: