SIPTU and the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) have launched a Charter of Rights and Conditions for Postgraduates which calls for a living wage, better access to supports and training as well as other improvements for those who carry out teaching and other work in third level institutions across the country. At an event yesterday (Tuesday, 29th October) in Liberty Hall in Dublin to launch the Charter, SIPTU and USI representatives called for an end to precarious working conditions for postgraduate students. SIPTU Sector Organiser, Karl Byrne, said: “As it stands, postgraduates are doing precarious work to earn their degree and are not being recognised by their Institutions as workers. Because of this, these postgraduates are given no stability of wage, leading to a serious crisis in their standard of living. USI and SIPTU have created a document with which to lobby Higher Level Institutions across the country and to enhance postgraduate rights.  “This Charter lays out exactly what the trade union and student movements in Ireland expect from Higher Level Institutions in relation to postgraduates who need to be paid for their work with a written agreement in place to protect their rights as workers.”  USI President, Lorna Fitzpatrick said: “Over the past year, USI conducted a survey for our postgraduate members and the outcome of this research has led to the creation of an evidence based postgraduate charter.  “The trade union and student movements have come together to ignite a flame for postgraduate rights. We are sick and tired of hearing the horror stories that come from postgraduates such as their conditions as workers and the lack of stability in their employment.” She added: “Postgraduates need to be listened to and treated fairly with respect in their workplace and it is of the utmost importance that Higher Level Institutions take into consideration the challenges facing students at postgraduate level and put the proper procedures in place as per the USI-SIPTU Postgraduate Charter.”