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Nominate Supervisor of the year 2015

All PhD candidates can now nominate their supervisors to the honourable prize : “Supervisor of the Year” .

The prize is a fine academic merit and it will be awarded by the rector at the promotion ceremony in June 2015.

If you think that your supervisor deserves the prize, send us his/her name together with a motivation letter, recommended 1-3 pages. Please include all students (current and graduated PhD students less than a year) standing for the nomination.

Due to some technical issues with our previous email id, the deadline is now extended a week until  8th February 2015.

We encourage you to send in (or send again) your nominations to our new email id: supervisor2015@dokt.chs.chalmers.se 

After the deadline all nominations will be reviewed by the Doctoral Student Guild (DS). A few candidates will be selected and the students will be interviewed. DS will then recommend to the rector who we think should be the supervisor of the year.

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Mecenat with SJ logo

The Doctoral Student Guild has been getting reports for quite some time that many PhD students do not get the SJ logo on their mecenat student union card as they are entitled to. PhD students are entitled to the SJ logo if their activity level (without teaching) is above 75%. It seems like this issue occurs if the student union fee is paid earlier than the activity level data is updated. We are pushing Chalmers centrally to come up with a solution, they are working on it but have not identified a possible way forward yet.

Until we have reached a permanent solution it is possible to use a number of temporary solutions:

1. Use the mecenat app to show you are  entitled to the SJ logo.

2. Send a text to mecenat and they send a picture of the SJ logo back.

3. You can ask for a new mecenat card.

Read more about all three solutions at: http://www.mecenat.se/kundtjanst/reserabatter

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Important information regarding saved vacation

Starting this year you cannot have more than 35 vacation days saved at any given moment. If you have vacation left when you end your employment you should, by law, be compensated by Chalmers paying you 4.6% of your monthly salary for each saved vacation day. Worth remembering is that you have to use at least 20 of your given vacation days every year, only the rest can potentially be saved for another year. For more information and details, see the “Collective agreement” below.

Note: DS has been informed of cases in the past when divisions refused to pay for remaining vacation days. Contacts with the labour union (Saco) made it clear that the refusal was unlawful in these cases. All PhD candidates should know that if you, when your contract ends, have remaining vacation days, you are entitled to compensation. If your boss refuse, you may refer to the collective agreement. You may also contact your local union representative.

References:

- (in Swedish): Kollektivavtal, Chalmers document id 2013-1363. 

Tillgänglig online 2015-01-08 via 

https://document.chalmers.se/download?docid=2105083313.

- (in English): Insidan translation of collective agreement, available online 2015-01-08 via

http://www.chalmers.se/insidan/EN/employment/working-conditions

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A new “Job security agreement” (in Swedish: Omställningsavtalet)

Omställningsavtalet is a national agreement which offer support for employees (including PhD candidates at Chalmers) who, for different reasons, become unemployed. The agreement is valid from 2015-01-01, replacing the previous agreement with the Job security foundation which ended 2014-12-31. The new agreemeent is, in multiple ways, not as good for us PhD candidates as the old agreement. It is not clear exactly why our support levels had to be decreased, although there are articles discussing possible reasons, see e.g. references below. In this message, we do not discuss the old agreement or speculate about the negotiations. Instead we try to summarise what support you can get from the current agreement. Chalmers is, according to the agreement, obliged to inform you about the available support at least one month before the end of your contract, but it may be useful to know about this earlier.

The Job Security Foundation (in Swedish: Trygghetsstiftelsen) is financed by the employers (e.g. Chalmers) paying 0.3% of each employees salary to the foundation, and the money may be used to help individuals who become unemployed. The main focus is to provide assistance to find a new job.Below we summarise the support offered. A link to the full agreement (in Swedish) is given at the end.

Support summary:

If you have been employed by Chalmers for at least two years you are entitled to

• Two meetings with specialized staff from Job Security Foundation in order to receive coaching before looking for jobs,

• Limited individual support from the Job Security Foundation,

• Be on leave from Chalmers with full salary during your last month of employment to participate in activities offered by the Job Security Foundation,

• Finish ongoing occupational health services already paid for by Chalmers.

If you have been employed by Chalmers for at least three years you may also get:

• Increased individual support from the Job Security Foundation

• A-Kassa top-up: Difference of the maximum amount paid out by the A-Kassa and 80% of your salary during 44 working days.

Important note if your employment ends in 2015 or 2016:
In the agremeent there is a third level of support which is not offered to PhD candidates. However, since the agreement was recently changed there are currently transition rules in place for PhD candidates who end their employment before 2016-12-31. In this case you are, in addition to the above, also entitled to the third level of the current agreement, which means:

• Increased A-kassa top-up: Up to 200 days (instead of 44).

• 440 days of income-top-up in case you find a job with a lower salary.

• 100 additional days to use for either of the two above. 

• In addition, if you reach 300 days of A-kassa top-up and have children below 18 years of age, you can apply for 150 more days.

References:

- (in Swedish): Avtal om omställning, samt förhandlingsprotokoll 2014-06-25. Tillgänglig online 2015-01-08 via http://www.arbetsgivarverket.se/avtal-skrifter/centrala-avtal/avtal-om-omstallning/

- (in Swedish): Article about reasons for why PhD candidates got less support in the new agreement http://www.sulf.se/Universitetslararen/Arkiv/2014/Nummer-9-14/Doktorander-offrades-till-forman-for-soldater/

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