Postgraduate worker unions PCAU and PGWA to merge under new name 

Applications for membership of the Postgraduate Workers’ Organisation opened today

The PhD Collective Action Union (PCAU)  and the Postgraduate Workers Alliance (PGWA) have officially announced plans to merge into a new organisation under the name Postgraduate Worker Organisation (PWO).

Applications for membership of the PWO opened today for all postgraduate researchers in Ireland.

The move was announced on social media by PCAU this afternoon, marking a significant step in the postgraduate workers’ movement.

The two organisations aim to “create a union that advocates and fights for the welfare of postgraduate researchers across Ireland [that] can provide knowledge and advice for members”.

In the announcement the PCAU said: “The PWO is dedicated to the fight for a fairer system of postgraduate research in Ireland. We need a more open system that does not discriminate and gives PGRs the recognition they deserve for their work.”

“As a member of the PWO, you will be part of the campaign working to reform postgraduate research programs and helping to shape the future of Irish research,” the statement continued.

PGWA was founded in 2019, and has local branches in Trinity, University College Dublin (UCD), the University of Galway, and University College Cork (UCC).

PCAU was founded last summer by Jeffrey Sardina as a protest group demanding better stipends and recognition of PhD researchers as workers.

Both groups demand employee status for PhD workers, adequate and fair pay, improved working conditions, and equitable treatment of non-EU researchers, among other demands.

In December, the PCAU submitted the Fair Postgraduate Researcher Agreement (FRA) to the government review of state supports for PhD researchers.

The review, which began in November, is due to be completed early this year.

Full feature in today’s print issue of Trinity News.

Charlotte Kent

Charlotte Kent is the Co-News Editor at Trinity News and a Senior Freshman PPES Student.