Science - October 27, 2005

Reorganisation gets go-ahead

The executive board gave its definite approval for the reorganisation plans for the staff departments and Facilities & Services, on Monday 24 October. All employees will hear this week whether they get to keep their job or will be offered ‘replacement positions’.

Before the reorganisation could go ahead the executive board needed the approval of the Employees’ Council (OR). That came last week. The OR had initially not approved the executive board’s plans because they wanted more far-reaching cuts. The OR demanded clear agreements on further overheads cuts, but the executive board did not want to commit itself, instead promising yearly discussions with the employees’ council on overhead costs. The OR has now accepted this and gave its green light for the plans last week.

Most administrative staff have already had talks with their boss about the consequences of the plans for their own position, whether there is a job for them in the ‘preliminary draft placement-plan’. Employees who have not yet had a job assigned to them now have four weeks’ time in which they can declare their interest in positions that have not yet been filled. After the four-week period there will be a two-week consideration period, during which employees can appeal against a placement that they have been offered.

Once that period is over, and the appeals have been reviewed by a special committee, the reorganisation can formally begin. Employees who then still do not have a job will have fifteen months in which to find a new job within the organisation. If nothing is found in that time, compulsory redundancy will follow. About a quarter of the jobs at facilities management and administrative departments will be scrapped in total.

The overheads reorganisation plan is the first that is ready. Plans for the research departments of the Nutrition, Plant and Animal Sciences Groups will follow. / KV