Organisation - October 22, 2009

Wagening gardeners to get new boss

Wageningen UR set to outsource garden and landscape maintenance. Staff will move to outsourcing company.

Cleaning and catering were outsourced several years ago. Now it is the turn of garden and landscape maintenance. Wageningen UR has put an end to the scientific management of the botanical gardens in Wageningen. As a result, there is no longer a link with research and teaching and so garden and landscape maintenance is no longer a core activity, says Annet de Haas of Facility Services. The project group responsible for the tender procedure will start work next month. Arranging the outsourcing is expected to take two years. Two gardeners were recently seconded to the Utopa foundation, which has taken over the maintenance of the Klein Arboretum from the University. In addition, four gardeners are due to retire within the next two years.
The remaining gardeners will be seconded to the company that wins the tender. De Haas says outsourcing may be cheaper as a garden maintenance company is able to use its equipment more efficiently. However, cost-cutting is not the main reason for the decision to outsource. The concentration of Wageningen UR in fewer locations means there will be less and less need for garden and landscape maintenance over the next few years, but there will still be enough work for the outsourced gardeners, says De Haas.

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