The farce that is LAS

According to the Law on job protection (Lagen om Anställningsskydd) in order to protect us, the workers, from employer abuse we can only be employed on short-term or rolling contracts for two years. After that we must be made permanent employees.

According to the Law of Unintended Consequences this means the mass firing of post-docs at SU (or at least in our department). Loyalty it appears is a one way street.

I’ve worked for SU happily for twelve years. I have a great working environment, talented and pleasant colleagues and really enjoy my work teaching and conducting research. For the last few years the overheads charged by the department and university on my research grants have exceeded my salary, 80% of which is funded by research grants.

To compound the irony I have had two invitations in the last two weeks to join consortia seeking funding under the Framework 7 program. Alas, I don’t know if I will have a job then so I must sadly decline these invitations. In fact there is a positive disincentive to seek long term financing as job insecurity argues for a focus on publishing papers.

This situation is not confined to me. Many of my colleagues had been existing on external financing. Not the best situation but one we were fairly comfortable with. Several of us had been working for more than five years as researchers. The regulation change, which many of us were unaware of until it was too late, has meant that research has become less attractive.

To be fair neither our prefekt nor rektor are happy with the situation either.

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