Organisation - December 3, 2009

OR loses trust in ESG management

The emergency move of ISRIC is illegal, according to the Employees Council. ESG-director Slingerland keeps OR at arm's length.

Relations between the Employees Council (OR) and the management of the Environmental Sciences Group (ESG) have reached a crisis point. OR-chairman Kees van Diepen says: 'This director doesn't take us seriously; he keeps us at arm's length. He refuses repeatedly to provide us with information. He flouts the rules of the Employees Council Law.' Slingerland: 'I won't call this a conflict. It concerns what information level an OR should be given. A lawyer is looking into the issue now; I'll wait for the outcome.'
Last Friday, an attorney for the OR summoned the management to cease the removal of items from the ESG-portion of ISRIC because 'the emergency move was illegal'. Van Diepen: 'Such a move requires a mandate. If a negative advice were given, the management could still follow through its decision, but only after waiting for a month. The management asked us for advice, but we wanted to have additional information first, which was not given to us.' Slingerlands says that he would have given the information but did not want the emergency move to be put on hold. The OR may take subsequent legal actions.
This clash was not the first stalemate. Earlier this year, Slingerland refused to hand over a report on the introduction of flexi-workplaces. The management had toyed with the idea of giving the Atlas building back to the Executive Board (to make room for nutrition researchers from the Dreijen).
Slingerland: 'Irritation broke out  over a report by the Center for People and Buildings about the accommodation plan. I did not pass the report on because it was conceptual and interim.'
In addition, OR member Edgar de Vos had publicly accused the director of distorting statistics. In August, Slingerland had declared that he would limit contact with the OR to the legal minimum.

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