New CAO for universities

Unions demand 14.3 percent rise in pay

Geldbiljetten. Foto: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

Last year, salaries at Dutch universities rose by 4 percent. “Needless to say, that correction has since evaporated due to last year’s sky-high inflation rate”, says Jan Boersma, Head of FNV Education and Research. This year, therefore, he and other trade unions from the education field have set their sights on a 14.3 percent increase, in line with the inflation rate as reported by Statistics Netherlands in October. In addition, they want salaries to go up automatically on an annual basis, in line with the rising cost of living.

These demands were announced in a joint statement by trade unions FNV, AOb, CNV and FBZ, which was presented to employers on January 10. In addition, FNV and AOb, along with protest groups Casual Academy, WOinActie, PNN, Postdocnl and 0.7, handed over a petition with 1,400 signatures against the prevalence of temporary contracts.

Temporary contracts
“Universities still want to have their cake and eat it too, which is why they have been exploiting the loyalty and intrinsic drive of their employees for years”, Boersma insists.

Temporary contracts, in combination with poor terms and conditions, have a serious impact on the work of researchers and teaching staff. The unions want universities to drastically revise this aspect of their employment policy. Among teaching staff without research duties, they argue that the percentage of temporary contracts should be reduced from 80 to 15 percent. These teachers should be offered a permanent position after one year. With this demand, the unions want to put an end to situations in which staff carry out vital, long-term work for their university on a string of four one-year contracts.

In an effort to combat absenteeism, the unions are also calling for a reduction in workload. According to them, one way to achieve this is by establishing more feasible standards for the level of teaching commitments as well as the number of teachers a programme should employ.  

“Support staff and researchers should be given more realistic job assignments and publication targets should be scaled back”, Boersma adds.

The unions’ position also takes in guidelines on matters of diversity and inclusion. These cover calls for transgender leave and leave for women going through menopause. They also want a national ombuds hotline to be set up for people who are afraid to report an issue to an ombudsperson at their own institution.

Tags: cao