Cao-conflict: baanzekerheid of loonsverhoging

De onderhandelingen over een nieuwe universitaire cao zijn opnieuw opgeschort. De universiteiten willen alleen salarisverhoging geven als het goedkoper wordt om personeel te ontslaan.

Al bijna twee jaar kunnen de bonden en de universiteiten het niet eens worden over een nieuwe cao voor het universitaire personeel. De vakbonden gaan eerst met hun achterban overleggen voordat ze verder praten.


In ruil voor een eventuele loonsverhoging willen de universiteiten de ontslagregeling en de seniorenregeling versoberen. Zo willen ze niet langer een aanvulling op de ww-uitkering geven aan ontslagen personeelsleden.


Momenteel krijgt een ontslagen werknemer van 52 jaar of ouder een uitkering tot zijn pensioen, als hij meer dan twaalf jaar aan zijn universiteit heeft gewerkt. Dat vinden de universiteiten “niet meer van deze tijd”, zegt onderhandelaar Hugo Levie van universiteitenvereniging VSNU. Zo zijn er nog enkele regelingen die ze willen versoberen.


Maar de bonden willen het niet te makkelijk maken om personeel te ontslaan. Ze vinden dat een reorganisatie pas mag doorgaan, als alle personeelsleden aan een nieuwe baan zijn geholpen.


Die garantie gaat de universiteiten te ver. “We willen wel ons stinkende best doen”, aldus Levie, “maar we kunnen niets beloven.”


Volgens hem zou zo’n belofte bovendien een pervers effect hebben: “Mensen bewegen dan minder.” Datzelfde effect hebben de huidige uitkeringen na ontslag volgens hem ook. Werkgevers zijn niet geneigd iemand te ontslaan, omdat ze er financieel toch nog jaren aan vast zitten, en werknemers gaan niet snel op zoek naar een baan die misschien beter bij hen past.


De onderhandelingen lopen moeizaam door de onzekere financiële situatie van de universiteiten. Ze hebben van het Rijk geen extra geld voor loonsverhoging gekregen en het zou kunnen dat de pensioenpremie verder omhoog gaat. “Extra loon betekent dat de universiteiten extra moeten bezuinigen”, stelt Levie.




Only 150 winners from 1700 applicants for these Nuffic-sponsored scholarships. You clearly beat some pretty long odds. Why do you think you were selected as one of the Huygens scholarship winners?
“My undergraduate grades were quiet good, and I also did some good research projects which were funded by government of India. I also chose to work as a research engineer at my college. Beside my academic performance, I was very active in extracurricular activities during my undergraduate days. Apart from getting letter of recommendation from my professor in India, I also got a letter of recommendation from one professor at TU Delft. I also have one international publication to my name. The biggest forte I think though was my letter of motivation. So, my overall profile helped me to fetch this scholarship.”

What does an HSP Huygens scholarship mean to you?
“It means a lot to me. I hail from a middle-class Indian family, and like every other middle-class student I took an educational loan for my studies. The difference in living costs in Europe and India, along with the difference in value of currency, makes it a really difficult situation here. But now after getting the Huygens scholarship I can study without any financial stress, which leaves me with ample time to conduct my research work with proper time and interest.”

How does this scholarship affect your professional career? Is it a stepping stone to living and working in Netherlands or just an experience you’ll take back home with you to achieve something more in your home country?
“HSP Huygens is a very prestigious scholarship. This award brings me honor and also recognition. My Master’s degree is a milestone towards my long-term goal of pursuing a PhD. After finishing my studies I’d like to work in Netherlands for two to three years. I’d like to gain experience in this high-level research environment. After gaining this experience, I want to return to my country and, with my learning and experience gained in the Netherlands, promote good research work in India.”

What are the advantages of studying in Netherlands compared to India?
“The difference I think is found in the level of research in Netherlands compared to my country. The research work carried out at TU Delft is very impressive and also enticing. So, I believe my current motivation towards applied research will be strengthened by the TU Delft MSc programme. My cherished desire is to one day work in research and development, where not only can I work on challenging problems but also seek solutions to real world problems.”

What advice would you give to other students to achieve this scholarship?
“My first piece of advice to other students is to be honest in your letter of motivation. I think that good grades at TU Delft along with some research background are also very important to get selected.”

Having won this scholarship, do you now feel extra pressure to succeed and thus validate the selection committee’s belief in your abilities?
“I don’t feel burdened by any kind of expectation. At the time of the application process I was quite confident and optimistic I’d be nominated for the scholarship. I do the best I can from my side and strongly believe that things will automatically happen for me. An MSc degree from TU Delft will allow me to utilize my knowledge and expertise to serve my country.”

So do you know who this ‘Huygens’ guy is who is giving you all this free money? 
“Sure, I know about Huygens. In fact we have a statue of Christiaan Huygens near entrance gate of our department. He was the Dutch scientist behind the telescope. He explained the wave nature of light.”
Huygens also believed in the existence of life on other planets. Do you?
“Yes, I believe in the existence of extraterrestrial life. This is fair possibility. Current discoveries suggest towards presence of water at Mars. This enhances the possibility of an existent life form.”

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