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Who are the staff at the University of Copenhagen?

New article series — See who earns the most and who earns the least at UCPH. Find out which staff groups are booming and which ones are shrinking (and why) – and meet six, very different, types of employees who keep UCPH up and running.

69 managers at the University of Copenhagen all earn more than DKK 1 million a year. This applies to Rector, who is the university’s best paid with an annual DKK 1.8 million salary, 2 prorectors, the university director, 6 deans, 11 associate deans, 8 deputy directors, 6 faculty directors and 34 department heads.

But the top researchers are also ahead in terms of salary, according to a release that the University Post has received under a freedom of information disclosure. Thirteen of the 20 best salaries at UCPH are scientific staff with an annual salary of more than DKK 1.3 million.

At the lower end of the salary scale you find laboratory assistants, service workers, cleaners, kitchen staff and glass washers, earning between DKK 269,000 and DKK 343,000 a year.

 

Who are we at UCPH?

This article starts the article series ‘Who are we at UCPH?’ which draws up a picture of trends in the composition of staff at Denmark’s largest university.

Going behind the numbers, we have met up with six of the employees to gain an insight into their work at UCPH:

The laboratory technician
The professor
The glass washer
The faculty director
The clerical employee
Specialist consultant

What the numbers say

In terms of overall numbers, the number of UCPH staff goes up and down. In 2012, there were 9,272 staff at UCPH in terms of full-time equivalents (FTE). The number of staff peaked in 2015 with 10,140 FTE, fell in 2016 – after the large round of layoffs – to 9,763 and is now down at 9,390.

The group that has grown the most in numbers is the group termed specialist consultants, which has risen from 192 to 370 FTE from 2012 to 2017, but assistant professors and post doc numbers have also gone up.

Signe Møller Johansen, herself a specialist consultant and union representative for technical-administrative staff (AC) at UCPH, says that the AC club since 2013 has been working specifically for clear career paths, allowing more people to move along a career track from academic officer to specialist consultant to senior consultant, a group that has grown from 109 to 153 FTE from 2012 to 2017.

They felt that it was too difficult to switch positions in the departments, but easier in the central administration and at the faculties, so the staff representatives wanted more equal opportunities and conditions.

 

 

Technical administrative personnel are also closer to research

Signe Møller Johansen adds that the AC club in 2017 has adopted a salaries policy that makes it easier for the technical administrative personnel (TAP’s) in the research environments to become specialist consultants, as it is still too difficult in some departments.

At the same time, they have described 18 AC-TAP profiles at UCPH make the breadth of the AC-TAP’s work visible, and describe how they contribute to the university’s main tasks of research, education and communication.

Who are we? 4 numbers that might surprise you

We are about the same number as in 2012

In 2012, there were 9,272 staff at UCPH in terms of full-time equivalents (FTE). The number of staff peaked in 2015 with 10,140 FTE, fell in 2016 – after the large round of layoffs – to 9,763 and is now down at 9,390.

No change in gender mix

53% of UCPH employees are women, 47% are men. The proportion is unchanged compared with figures from 2012.

More academic staff than technical administrative staff

In 2017, 58% of staff at UCPH belong to the academic (researchers, teachers, PhD students) or so-called VIP group of staff – while 42% were TAP (technical-administrative staff). In 2012, the distribution was 54% VIP and 46% TAP.

Fewer TAPs work in research and teaching

The proportion of the workforce made up of the TAP group that primarily work with research and teaching (the TAP-FU group), has fallen from 20% in 2012 and now accounts for 17%. The share that primarily works with administration (TAP-AS) has increased from 25% to 26% over the same period.

TAPs with titles such as research coordinators, research staff, technical specialists, laboratory managers and data managers/data analysts are all close to research.

“They should also be given the opportunity of becoming specialist consultants. Our position is, that if you have a PhD degree and possibly also done postdoctoral research, a minimum of eight years professional experience as a specialist, you should be placed in a different category, says Signe Møller Johansen.

It is not just about pay

An academic officer at UCPH earns an average of DKK 42,000 a month, a specialist consultant DKK 50,800 and a senior consultant DKK 60,500, but according to the union representative, for many people it is not a matter of salary.

“It’s about attracting and retaining skilled employees, and in this context, UCPH was not good enough at using the AC-TAP job structure. There is an expectation that we, as employees, are flexible and adaptable, and people would like to see this reflected in their terms of employment, she says.

Martin Strandby Nielsen is a consultant in the Department for Negotiations at the union DJØF and helps members who work at UCPH to become specialist consultants.

He says that the motivation is different from individual to individual, and that the salary in a few cases does not play a role, although most of the time a salary increase follows the change in title.

“For some it is the salary, for others the recognition, and for others it is for the opportunity of applying for jobs elsewhere,” he says.

According to Martin Strandby Nielsen there are no clear guidelines on what is needed to become a specialist consultant, but you usually have to have more important work assignments than an academic officer.

It might be that the employee is in a specialist role – that is, in a position that requires specialist knowledge – but it can also be the employer wishing to maintain, recruit or reward a staff member for particularly important skills.

 

PhDs have been cut down the most

However, other staff groups such as PhDs, cleaners, bio analysts and laboratory technicians have been hard hit by cutbacks.

The number of PhD students has decreased by 358 FTE, so there are now 1,229 PhDs at UCPH. A total of 3,096 are registered in the university, but more than half of them are affiliated to, say, a hospital, from where they receive their salaries.

If you ask the researchers, they need laboratory technicians and biomedical technicians in the labs. Our tasks have not disappeared, but the money has

Tina Wandall, staff representative for biomedical technicians at UCPH

The decline in numbers comes after a broad political majority from the Liberal Party, the Conservative Party, the Social Democrats, the Danish People’s Party and the Social Liberals decided in 2006 to increase investments in research to strengthen Denmark’s growth and Innovation capacity. Part of the plan was to double the number of admissions at the national level from around 1,200 to 2,400 new PhD’s annually in the fields of science, engineering, it and health sciences.

In connection with the large round of cutbacks of a total of DKK 500 million at the beginning of 2016, UCPH decided to cut DKK 100 million from the PhD area.

As a consequence of the precarious working conditions, the PhDs have set up their own association from March this year.

 

Fewer laboratory technicians and biomedical technicians.

The reduction in the number of cleaners is mainly due to improvements in efficiency, and that, over a number of years, cleaning has been subcontracted to private companies, so that cleaners no longer are employees of the university.

The decline in the number of laboratory technicians and biomedical technicians surprises Tina Wandall, staff representative for the biomedical technicians at UCPH. The laboratory technicians have declined with 54 FTE and the biomedical technicians with 20.

She has, in vain, asked in the staff-management general collaboration committee whether this is an intended management policy.

“If you ask the researchers, they need laboratory technicians and biomedical technicians in the labs. Our tasks have not disappeared, but the money has,” says Tina Wandall, who is concerned about the consequences:

“With fewer permanently hired technicians working in the laboratories, it will be harder to take care of environment and safety tasks. There will be a lack of continuity and technical know-how, and therefore also quality work in the laboratories. The students (bachelor’s, master’s and PhD) need to help teach each other more extensively. And the risk of errors taking place is growing,” she says.

 

Who are we at UCPH?

This article starts the article series ‘Who are we at UCPH?’ which draws up a picture of trends in the composition of staff at Denmark’s largest university. Going behind the numbers, we have met up with six of the employees to gain an insight into their work at UCPH.

The laboratory technician
The professor
The glass washer
The faculty director
The clerical employee
Specialist consultant

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