The Promovendi Netwerk Nederland (PNN) addresses the NFU regarding the proposed changes in the 2024 collective labor agreement for UMC employees. The letter appreciates the inclusion of extended contracts for researchers during parental leaves but expresses concern over the discretionary nature of these extensions. PNN emphasizes the need for more definitive regulations to ensure extensions are not solely dependent on supervisors' discretion or funding. The letter also highlights the importance of addressing long-term illness by standardizing contract extensions during such periods, thus reducing stress and financial burden on PhD candidates. Additionally, PNN advocates for the establishment of independent ombudspersons in each UMC to safeguard against systemic issues and promote a safe working environment. Finally, PNN urges for the equalization of contracts and pay scales between PhD candidates (oio) and physician-researchers (aio) to ensure fair and equal treatment. The letter concludes with a call to the NFU to consider these critical points in upcoming negotiations to improve the working conditions of PhD candidates.

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