Dutch universities are getting around changes in the rules on temporary contracts by offering lecturers a fixed contract for one lecture a week plus a short-term contract for the rest of their work, the Volkskrant says on Thursday.
The set up breaks the terms of the universities’ pay and conditions agreement, the paper says, and makes it particularly difficult for lecturers to get a mortgage.
Amsterdam University employs dozens of people using the combination contracts, according to a lecturer protest group known as UvAFlex. Amsterdam’s VU, Radboud University in Nijmegen and universities in Leiden and Tilburg all use the same system.
The current university pay deal includes a commitment to halving the number of temporary contracts.
In addition, changes to temporary contract legislation introduced by the government this summer are aimed at encouraging companies and institutions to take on more permanent staff by giving more rights to workers on flexible contracts.
Tilburg economics lecturer Ronald Dekker told the paper the hybrid contract system is a transparent attempt to get round the new laws on flexible work. ‘These people have a lot of work to do but … they are being offered as little security as possible,’ Dekker said.
Universities have been cutting back on permanent contracts since the 1990s in an effort to compensate for unpredictable funding and fluctuating student numbers.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.
We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.Make a donation