Agitation amongst staff members of the Healthcare and Social Work Division.

Chair of unit participation council encourages staff members to share their experiences

  • The discharge of three study programme managers caused agitation within the Social work division.
  • The unit participation council encouraged the staff members to notify the council of their grievances, for the meeting with director Ineke van der Wal.

Just before the Christmas break, the management team of the Healthcare and Social Work Division announced that one of the study programme managers, Jan Willem Bruins, was relieved from his position and would only continue working as the project manager for the formation of the new study program Social Work. Directly after the Christmas break two other study programme managers, Jildau de Haan and Tamara Mulders, announced that they would also want to resign within the foreseeable future. Bruins has registered an objection against the decision however, none of the parties has shared the exact reason about the decision to relieve Bruins. For that matter, it is also not clear why the other two study programme managers are leaving. Management team member Riejet Nijdam has taken over some management tasks,  and Jolling Lodema( Manager with the Engineering and ICT division) has been asked to assist. In a letter, also directed to the Executive Board, the chairmen from eight different concerned division teams discussed their concerns about the developments. The team chairmen have acknowledged that they have submitted their concerns to the management team however, nothing has happened yet.

A tour of the study program shows that there is agitation amongst staff members. The meetings arranged by the management team, meant to give some clearance are experienced as laborious and uninformative. The management team, as is said, seems to be avoiding clear answers when questions are asked. Ineke van der Wal emphasizes that after receiving the letter, she had daily meetings with the chairmen. “And afterward, we have informed all the staff members by E-mail. Look, I understand their concerns. I understand that people are not happy about it, me neither.” She also understands that the communication of the past weeks was experienced as deficient. “However, it took some time, and carefulness come first. ”

Unit participation council member Frank Joustra fully agrees with the purport of the letter. He calls the state of affairs shadowy and understands that contradictory stories arose amongst staff members. “And then the involved parties have been imposed with a non-disclosure obligation – which is also denied. Very confusing.” Also, Joustra experiences the meetings with the management team as unsatisfying: “ They have not yet led to transparency, even though the director says she thinks of it as important.” Last week the unit participation council invited all the staff members for the meeting of 7 February, ‘to express concerns or just to be present and listen. The input of everyone has been of great importance for our meetings with the division director regarding this subject.’ Everyone who cannot be present can send their opinion via E-mail to the unit participation council. (MH)

 From the letter of the team chairmen:
‘In response to the resignation of also these two study managers a meeting is arranged by the team management on the 16th of January, in which two new (temporary) study managers were introduced. After the explanation of the division director, staff members indicated that they have very little to no trust in the collaboration with the management team, especially regarding the signals from the team and study programme managers are not taken seriously and regarded without respect. They also experience that there is a consistent lack of communication. It is very worrisome that there is little to no trust that the situation will change for the better within a foreseeable time…’

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