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Monday, October 24, 2016

Strange decisions and orders: reduction in Russian science scientists plunged into depression

Reducing the large army of Russian scientists and University professors — a subject which is now much debated in society. Oil poured into the fire the documents of the Ministry of education (they were from fellow journalists Газеты.RU), which were marked with specific numbers: “By 2019, under reduction can get and 10.3 thousand (!) scientists.” In specialized Ministry hurried to refute the information shocking, saying, on the contrary, to increase the number of scientists in the institutes. To understand how things really are, “MK” has appealed to several institutions under the jurisdiction of the FANO.

Strange, but of no increase in the number of States in any of the three surveyed academic institutions don’t know. The sequestration of the budget, which, of course, directly linked to the reduction of governmental orders and the people carrying them out, saying casually: starting in 2014, this is the reality of our science.

Not to be unfounded, we give an example of a situation in the leading Physical Institute of RAS. Lebedev — Lebedev Physical Institute. In 2014 the state in the framework of the state assignment gave him 840 million rubles and 100 million of additional projects of the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences, in 2015, these amounts decreased respectively to 800 and 40 million rubles, and in 2016 — is already up to 700 and 40 million rubles.

“Naturally, while reducing funds for the state assignment we have to proceed from the current situation, — says the young Director of LPI Nikolay KOLACHEVSKY. — If at the end of 2013, our institution, quietly performing the obligations under labor contracts, have received some equipment, then in 2014 about some update of speech does not go, we could hardly refrain from layoffs, but still paid salaries to all employees. Starting in 2015 we have already cut rates. According to the results, 2016, the number of our Institute decreased by 50 people. If in 2017 we will cut the funding by 100 million, 20 percent of the budget deficit will have to cover the expense of reduction of people. About 20% of the population. It is necessary to consider that from the same allocated us the money we pay not only wages but also paid taxes on land, which takes annually about 130 million rubles.”

But why should we immediately dismiss employees? Maybe you can at least reduce their salaries? Turned out not can the Director not to cut staff: on the one hand, they cut the budget, and on the other, they are connected may decrees of President Putin from 2012, which States that the salary of scientists should be increased twice in comparison with the average regional salary by 2018. In regions with this easy, but in Moscow, where concentrated a large number of state corporations, where only the cleaning ladies are buying handbags from the leading brands, the average wage is already considerable at 63 thousand rubles. This means that by 2018, every scientific worker in Moscow must obtain at least 120 thousand a month… All the unpopular decisions related to layoffs, placed under the responsibility of the Directors of the institutes. They just put before the fact: the budget will be reduced, wages should be lifted, and there do whatever you want.

Who fired in institutions? Means that basically the reduction of staff in each Institute is either at the expense of those who have reached retirement age, or those who because of some personal reasons ceased to yield concrete results. But the reality is that the fire was an experienced old officer, even if he does not appear in the workplace, more difficult than the young. This trend, according to Kolachevsky, already visible in a number of leading Russian institutes and no good it will not, because young professionals, of course, have to give way first.

What topics cut? In the same LPI as the result of the reduction state assignment the hardest hit accelerator themes. The past two years there canned boosters With 60 and more modern-25P, in Troitsk. To support the infrastructure of these accelerators require large quantity of resources that are simply not available. Meanwhile, such centers in the world are very popular. They are necessary to study the structure of new materials. Now the staff of FIAN, where they continue to create such materials, have to haul them to the test on a synchrotron (an accelerator similar to Trinity) to China and other countries.

Strange decision, strange decrees… it’s clear that even a PhD for decades without receiving salary above 35 thousand, would have been happy and the average for the region is 60 thousand, but would not have curtailed his activity. Here, for example, would you do the same scientists who worked on the boosters of the LPI?

As reported in the secret documents of the Ministry of education, caught in the disposal of journalists:

— The cost of a scientific program from among the total Federal budget expenditures will decrease from 0.98% in 2015 to 0.87% in 2019. Because of this it was proposed to dismiss from universities to 500 in 2017.

— From the payroll of the Federal Agency of scientific organizations (FANO) of the Ministry of education intends to exclude 8.3 thousand scientists by 2019 (3.5 thousand of them can be reduced in 2017). From the Kurchatov Institute in the next year it is planned to dismiss 1,5 thousand scientific employees.

— Due to lack of funds 40% can decrease the number of budget places in universities in 2017.


Reducing the the coming and cleaning staff commented on the rector of the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation Mikhail Eskindarov:

No sharp reduction of budget places in universities, of the type voiced by 40%, to be, of course, can not in principle! As such, it does not coincide with the plans of the Prime Minister and the Finance Ministry. While certain cuts are coming — as recently as this year there was a reduction in recruitment in the areas of economy, law, management in which there is an excess of specialists in the market. Reduction small, 3-5 percent, they affect primarily the non-core universities, but partly touched and like our profile — we went to meet the proposals of the Ministry of education and reduced the intake by 3%. Next year, I also foresee some cuts, including academic science, but not fatal. All of these initiatives come from the Ministry of Finance and the related need for replenishment…

Also there is information about a sharp reduction of financing of the project under the special patronage of Putin, the world championship of working professions World Skills, which our country is particularly important in promoting secondary education.

At the meeting with Prime Minister Medvedev speech about World Skills did not go, — said the “MK” the press-Secretary of the project Eugeny Kolchev. — Talked about the possibility of additional cuts in spending on science and education, if they arise. We remain funding in full, and all commitments scheduled for 2019 in Kazan world Cup!

Meanwhile, the head of the press service of the Kurchatov Institute Natalia Zvereva told “MK” that the leadership of the Research center of information about “future reductions of 1,500 scientists,” no — they learned about it from the media…

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