Casual UvA, an action group with about 100 employees on temporary contracts, will continue with its marking strike for the time being because they have no faith that their demands will be met. This was decided during a meeting on Wednesday.
The organisation says it sees too little transparency from the UvA regarding the fulfilment of the demands. Casual UvA sees possibilities, but as things stand, "too many of our questions remain unanswered, and too many of our requests have been ignored," according to a press release. The action group regularly consults with the UvA about its requests.
Employees of universities protested on Thursday afternoon at the Domplein in Utrecht against the "flexibility culture" at universities, according to the union FNV. They want the new collective agreement to put an end to years of hopping from one temporary contract to the next. Around 100 lecturers from Utrecht University, Leiden University and the UvA were present at the protest. They symbolically handed over a temporary contract to the employers present and game speeches. Negotiations for a new collective agreement for Dutch Universities have been ongoing since the beginning of January.
Casual UvA started the marking strike in April because the group wants more support for lecturers with temporary contracts. In a letter to the Executive Board, the group called for more permanent contracts, increased room for professional development and greater transparency regarding the amount of work. In particular, employees in junior lecturer positions should be better supported, the lecturers believe.
According to the action group, "systematic overwork and exploitation" must be addressed and working conditions for people with temporary contracts must be improved. Also, problems experienced by people on temporary contracts must be made more visible.
Fourth study period figures known
To minimise the impact on students, departments participating in the strike have decided to publish the grades of study period four within fifteen working days. For the time being, assignments and exams made in study period five will not be graded. This decision was made by a clear majority in good faith and "based on our relationship with the students". Casual UvA hopes to come closer to a solution with the UvA.
The departments participating in the strike are Anthropology, Sociology, Political Science, Interdisciplinary Social Science, Future Planet Studies, Beta-Gamma, Geography and Communication Sciences. Casual UvA is talking to more departments in the university and "asks for solidarity from students and staff".
The action group regularly consults with the UvA about the demands. The university stated in early April that it is working on a new teacher policy that should reduce the number of temporary appointments, increase the job security of teachers and offer more career prospects. The UvA does not want to wait for the new collective bargaining agreement (see box). A concrete new faculty policy must be established before the summer.