News - September 13, 2016

ESG already strongly reduced this year

Albert Sikkema

The financial recovery of Wageningen Environmental Research (previously known as Alterra) is going according to plan. By 1 September, the institute had reduced the personnel file by 23 positions compared to 1 January. This was reported by managing director Bram de Vos on the Environmental Sciences Group (ESG) intranet.

The institute needs to cut back 60 staff positions within the next few years. ‘The Recovery Plan is on course,’ says De Vos. ‘A lot of progress has been made in the discussions with employees about pensions and early retirements. A reduction of almost 23 permanent staff position has been realised since the beginning of this year. This includes employees who have indicated that they are willing to work part-time, employees who have suggested changing their function or have another job, long-term secondments with an outlook on takeover and employees in development programmes within teams.’

The reduction is necessary, but does not provide a perspective for the future, warns De Vos. ‘Our new strategy is important for the future, with a well substantiated marketing strategy for each research programme.’

The Environmental Research Works Council is pleased with the quick reduction of staff, says interim Works Council chairperson Jaap van Os, even though it is somewhat painful to see staff with interesting expertise and skills leaving. Van Os: ‘You would rather see management present a new strategy first, so the reduction can be adapted to the strategy. But the deficit was so vast that there was simply no time for that. Let’s hope we can focus on the strategy soon.’ The Works Council will advise on the Recovery Plan this Thursday.

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