A national survey finds unacceptable behaviour at universities to be much more common than the WUR Employee Monitor does. Both sources show that managers are often the cause of the problems.
According to a study by the FNV and VAWO trade unions, half of university staff think their working environment is not safe socially. And 44 per cent of women and 35 per cent of men say they personally experience problems. Those problems include gossiping, bullying and ostracizing. Professors and managers are guilty of intimidation and the abuse of power. But less than 10 per cent of staff experience unacceptable behaviour according to the WUR Employee Monitor. Verbal violence is most common, followed by bullying and discrimination.
The trade unions only surveyed their own members at universities and institutes. The response was 17.5 per cent. That is low, says WUR confidential counsellor Martie Wagenaar. ‘Our Employee Monitor had a response of 64 per cent. What is familiar from their survey is the role played by managers. They are often the cause of the problem or they don’t do enough to put an end to it.’ Wagenaar says that in 2017, 70 per cent of the cases of unacceptable behaviour involved problems caused by the manager. The confidential counsellor sees support in the national study for the need to pay attention to the role of managers when creating a safe working environment.