Science - September 15, 2005

Works council wants more cuts

Overhead reductions of twenty-five percent are not sufficient, the Central Employees’ Council (COR) has said after examining the executive board plans. The COR wants a commitment from the executive board that another three hundred jobs will be scrapped within the next few years at facilities management and other administrative departments.

In its written advice on the reorganisation plans, the COR says it will not approve the plan unless the executive board agrees to a dozen conditions. The most important is that a plan is drawn up to critically examine various parts of Wageningen UR this year and next to see whether bigger overheads reductions can be made.

Dr Gerrit Bruin is chair of the COR: ‘We are not satisfied with the plan yet. We want clear agreements from the executive board that they will continue to work at reducing overheads. We want this done in a different way. At present twenty five percent cuts are being made across the board. We want to see choices made per department.’

By 2009 the employees’ council wants to see overheads reduced to 18.4 percent of the total budget. After carrying out the present plans however, overheads will still be at least 22 percent. The further cuts will have to be made among the higher-paid administrative and management positions. The representative council wants productive jobs to be spared.
The COR wants further investigation of three hundred ‘miscellaneous and supernumerary’ jobs not currently included in the reorganisation plans, and whether cuts are possible there.

Spokesman for the executive board, Simon Vink, indicated that the board has not yet given an official response to the COR. ‘What I can say is that the executive board agrees with the OR that overheads need to remain the focus of attention in the coming years. They need to be reduced further.’ Cuts will not be made through new reorganisations though according to Vink, but through natural wastage. / KV

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