Science - November 3, 2005

The reorganisation unfolds: facts and figures

For the first time in the history of Wageningen UR and its predecessors, the Agricultural University and DLO research, there will be large-scale compulsory redundancies. Last week employees in the staff departments and facilities management department heard whether they still had a job or not.

How many people heard last week that they will have to go in search of a new job?

The cuts in the staff departments will result in about two hundred full-time jobs disappearing. Because many people have part-time jobs, probably between about two and three hundred people will be told that they are ‘potentially a provisional candidate for reassignment’.

‘Potentially a provisional candidate for reassignment’?

Yes, that’s the formal term. Employees have been told whether they have a job within the ‘provisional draught placement plan’. If they do not have a job, they can indicate their interest in another function during the coming three weeks. A placement committee will decide who gets the empty positions. Once these decisions have been taken, those who still have no job will become ‘provisional candidates for reassignment’. ‘Provisional’ because they can still appeal against the decision. A separate committee will assess the appeals. Only when all cases have been dealt with, will a ‘placement’ plan be finalised, and then the lawyers can talk of a replacement candidate, without any euphemistic prefixes.

How many redundancies will there be ultimately?

No one wants to hazard a guess on this. Replacement candidates will have fifteen months’ time to find a job inside or outside Wageningen UR. It is unclear how many people will succeed. The reorganisation of the staff departments is also the first of a series. In the coming months various sciences groups will finalise their reorganisation plans for the research departments. These will lead to hundreds of redundancies.

Korné Versluis

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