Pay cuts for lab demonstrators reversed

The issue will be discussed further at a future meeting of College’s finance committee

The decision to cut the pay of casual staff who work as lab demonstrators in Trinity has been reversed at a meeting of College’s finance committee.

The reversal was confirmed to Trinity News by Laura Beston, President of Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU). 

In a statement to Trinity News, Beston, who sits on Trinity’s finance committee, stated that this issue will be brought to the next meeting of the committee “as an item for discussion rather than an item for noting like before”, adding that “all in attendance realised the importance of a robust discussion and fair approach to casual work”.

She noted that several members of the committee had “discussed their disapproval” of the decision to cut pay in a discussion “spearheaded” by the herself and Shaz Oye, President of the Graduates Students Union (GSU).

Pay rates for demonstrators, who guide students working in laboratories, had been cut from €21.02 down to a bracket of €19 to €17, representing a potential reduction of around 20%.

The pay cut affects anyone in College under the “demonstrators” label which includes a large number of PhD students as well as postdoc casual employees.

Around 70 protesters gathered outside the meeting of College’s finance committee in House 1 this morning, chanting “postgrad rights are workers rights” and “hey hey ho ho, pay cuts have got to go”, in response to a decision by College to cut the pay rates of casual teaching staff.

The protest was organised by the GSU and was attended by representatives of Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU), the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) and Trinity PhD Workers Rights group.

As members of the Finance Committee entered House 1, the crowd shouted: “Good morning, don’t cut our pay.

The pay cut was introduced to bring the hourly rate of casual staff in line with that of casual staff. However, speaking to Trinity News during the protest, Oye stated that given the fact that casual staff “dont enjoy the same protections and salaries as permanent staff” their hourly rate should be different.

Finn Purdy

Finn Purdy is the current Deputy Editor of Trinity News. He is a Junior Sophister English Studies student, and a former News Editor and Assistant News Editor.