News - March 24, 2020

A council: what’s in it for me?

Albert Sikkema

In a series of four articles, Resource talks to members of WUR’s various participatory bodies. People have until 22 April to come forward as candidates. The elections will run from 2 to 6 June 2020.

Part 3: Anouschka Hof, tenure tracker and member of the Joint Works Council (OR). ‘I can do something for staff.’

‘I’ve been on Tenure Track at the Wildlife Ecology and Conservation chair group since July 2017. I joined the OR at Wageningen Environmental Research (ESG) as an external member in January 2018. I’ve been a full council member since the beginning of 2019, as a vacancy arose due to sickness. Combining Tenure Track with the OR is doable as long as I don’t take on a big role, such as chairing a committee. So I’m on the council and I’m on the Personnel committee, that’s all. The committee meets once a fortnight and the whole OR once a month. In between there are regular meetings with the directors of ESG and Human Resources. I think I spend an average of two to three hours a week on meetings, reading, gathering information and writing memos and newsletters.

As a member of the OR you often know more about what’s going on

The plusses of being on the OR for me are getting a better idea of the organization and being able to do something for staff. I can look into their workplace and work station situations, for instance. As a member of the OR, you get access to more in-depth information; you get to know other people at WUR and you often know more about what’s going in. What is more, I can now let other OR members and the directors know what problems we encounter with Tenure Track. I do feel that we are listened to, but unfortunately, action is not always taken.

My term on the OR ends this summer, and then I’m stopping. I have just had a baby and combining Tenure Track, parental leave and OR work would be too much, in my view.’ AS

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