Number of FTEs of division needs to be reduced by twenty-nine
- First ‘wave’ has to provide swift clarity to staff members
- Bert Meijer: ‘extraordinarily bitter process’
The unions called the austerity plan ‘an important adjustment within the organization’, which officially makes a reorganisation from the austerity operation of 3.6 million euro. The Executive Board has stated that they don’t make an objection against this proposal. The Central Participation Council has largely approved of this plan and has asked the Unit Participation Council to look at the further details. The Unit Council has agreed to the first of the three ‘waves’ from which the plan is built. Wave 1 has already started. The second wave starts after the spring break. In total the staff numbers need to be reduced by 29 FTEs. It has been discussed with the unions that there will be no forced resignations.
The individual consequences could be drastic, exclaims Bert Meijer, interim director of the division. One of the most prominent goals is the reduction of the research centre: 16 of the 29 FTEs needs to come from there. Particularly the staff members of the research centre and those with a temporary employment will suffer most from the consequences. In the first phase, no employment contracts will be signed, renewed or extended, without first looking if the particular position or extension could be filled by one of the current permanent employees. Employees will be notified by their director if an alternative has been found for them, and will be invited for an interview. If ‘matching’ will not work within the division, people will look for an alternative within the University of Applied Sciences. An extraordinarily bitter process, summarizes Meijer. Especially for the research centre and those with a temporary contract. The management team will strive to take expertise and employability into account as much as possible, but everyone needs to realise that he or she could get an offer that he or she doesn’t prefer. Meijer: ‘Proper communication is the basis. Everyone will get the time to think it through, of course.’
Meijer hopes the first wave will be finished within a few weeks, and that by then everyone will know which position he or she will be filling within the reduced organisation. ‘It is everyone’s interest that this phase has to be finished as quickly as possible. Everyone will realise that the longer this takes, the longer many people remain in uncertainty.’ (MH)