Nieuws - 22 september 2010

Court rejects ASG mobility cluster

Animal Sciences Group directors are not allowed to force staff members to follow a mobility programme helping them find work elsewhere. That is what the local court judge in Lelystad has said in a case brought by the employees' council.

In 2009, the ASG directors put a number of employees in a separate mobility cluster. These were people who could not be kept sufficiently occupied in research projects. They had to stop their normal activities and were made to visit a mobility agency. The employees' council says the directors threatened the employees with dismissal if they did not find alternative work before a certain deadline. This meant it was actually a clandestine reorganization. That is contrary to the collective labour agreement, according to the employees' council, and it asked the directors to stop the programme. When the directors did not do so, the employees' council started legal proceedings.
The local court judge passed judgement on 25 August. He 'orders DLO to refrain from actions that lead to the implementation or application of the parts' of a mobility cluster with regard to promotion and dismissal.
The ASG directors accept the judgement. 'We had already decided before the summer holidays to get rid of the mobility cluster', says director Dick Pouwels on the ASG intranet. 'We have decided to make the external supervision as part of a careers programme optional - it is up to the individual employee.'
The works council says the court judgement is also relevant for the legal status of employees in other science groups within Wageningen UR. The Wageningen UR Executive Board has sided with the ASG directors in this case.