WOinActie has launched a new campaign to draw attention to the problems scientists experience. Until December 20, WOinActie will be collecting reports from university staff who cannot complete their work properly within working hours.
The campaign, which started last Friday, has already produced more than three hundred reports says Rens Bod, UvA Professor of Digital Humanities and one of its initiators. Scientists can complete a questionnaire on Google Docs about the number of hours worked, number of overtime hours, type of contract and position. ‘Overtime has become systematic and structural. This means that universities effectively run on the overtime hours. This is not sustainable.’
Staff have until December 20 to submit their answers which will then be offered to the labour inspectorate. Bod: ‘The inspectorate will then be obliged to conduct an investigation, and if it turns out we are right, the university will have to take action. It is a little awkward that we might be getting our own universities into trouble; but if we don't do this now, nothing will change.’
The reason for the new action, one of many taking place this academic year, is the commitment of Minister Van Engelshoven (Education, Culture & Science; D66) to invest an extra one billion euros in university education. Bod: ‘We are of course very happy with such an investment, but it is also absolutely necessary. The current situation is not only bad for the people concerned, but also for the Netherlands as a society.’