Services concerned about budget cuts
- Managerial Framework document 2018 imposes a budget cut of eight hundred thousand on services
- Head of the Unit Participation Council Henk Bosman: ‘Where does the Central Participation Council see any room for this?’
Although the government grant for 2018 is expected to be higher than this year’s, Windesheim is preparing itself for budget cuts. The shortages, as has been decided, will not be filled from reserves. On the contrary, these reserves will be topped up by an additional two million. This is tough to swallow for many divisions. Henk Bosman, head of the Unit Participation Council has made clear to the Central Participation Council by means of a letter that he does not know how Services can execute the prescribed budget cuts (from 32,7 to 31,9 million).
Bosman is used to bad news: ‘during the eight years in which I have worked here at the Services departments I’ve only really experienced budget cuts. The one percent operation, for example, which had to be enforced for several years. Those budget cuts have been divided evenly amongst the different aspects of the Service departments and teams. The service employees have always been ready and willing to change where necessary. However, we as Unit Participation Council believe that the managerial framework document needs to stipulate choices, even if this is only in a global sense, regarding, for instance, the setup plan. The dominant feeling now is: ‘another task statement.’ We want to know: where does the focus lie?
Bosman believes that the Board and the Central Participation Council thinks that the Services departments possess a flexible shell that can be “peeled off”. ‘But that, as far as we know, does not exist anymore. As such, our question for the Central Participation Council is: where do you see any room for these budget cuts? Let me give you an example. At this moment there is a measure in place that makes sure that, when someone opts to quit his or her job, the position is not automatically filled. First a check must be performed to see whether or not the tasks can be taken over by other employees. Because of this, the departure of an employee from the ICT department could not be handled which resulted in the Servicedesk closing for an afternoon. That was not a symbol or sign of protest, we simply could not keep the desk open.’
He also points out that the workload cannot be seen separately from the budget cuts within the Services departments. When the services decline it has consequences for teachers and as such, for the education. Bosman: ‘Windesheim needs to make choices. What do we expect from Services? What level of quality do we want to guarantee? And, concerning the measure of not filling in positions: how long can we continue? When two colleagues leaving results in one single position to be filled, will we believe that the employees who leave had too little to do or do we accept the risk that the new employee will have too many tasks and will end up at home, overworked and overstrained?’’ (MH)