Letter to the Executive Board

Internal trade unions: ‘Jointly create a new social safety project team’

The internal trade unions at TU Delft are critical about the composition of the social safety project team. They advise the Executive Board to reconsider the composition as quickly as possible and propose a solution.

(Photo: Saskia Bonger)

The existence of a project team was announced in a message, since then taken offline, on the intranet on Friday 4 April. The team comprises Rector Magnificus Tim van der Hagen; HR Director Annemieke Zonneveld; Communications Director Carola de Vree; Deans Aukje Hassoldt and Henri Werij; Remco Vroegop of the Administrative Office; Rivka van der Schoor-van Mastrigt, an Integrity Office staff member; the Director of Education & Student Affairs, Sacha Kroonenberg; and, a student and former member of the Student Council, Rutger Blijleven.

In a letter to the Executive Board, the trade unions write that they have received ‘several negative reactions’ to the composition. They state that the team is being called the ‘social unsafe project team’ in the corridors. Several Delta sources confirm this. The trade unions believe that the members ‘should clearly not have been involved in previous incidents of socially unacceptable behaviour’.

Social media

The trade unions are not the only ones that have received reactions from TU Delft staff members to the composition. In the responses to a questionnaire, Delta found that TU Delft staff members have also expressed their concerns to Personnel Committees. TU Delft staff members had also previously expressed their displeasure on social media. Some pointed out that the team comprised only Dutch people at TU Delft. Similar concerns were expressed in the responses to a poll by the Students and Staff for Safety, an anonymous group of people at TU Delft. Online criticism was also levied by people outside TU Delft. ‘A toilet cleaning detergent can also learn from this’, wrote Remco Breuker, a Leiden University professor, on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The Unions are requesting the Executive Board to reconsider the composition of the project team. They want a more independent team, that ‘in any case comprises an independent external chair, members put forward by DEWIS, the Works Council, the Student Council, PromooD (the previous name of the University PhD Council, Eds.) and by the trade unions’. It should also have experts and an ‘external secretariat’ to ‘guarantee maximum independence’.


The Unions also believe that the team must be ‘independent of the management of TU Delft that was responsible for the incidents infringing social safety and were the reason that the investigation was carried out by the Inspectorate of Education’. ‘After all, a butcher should not be seen as the inspector of his own meat. Every trace of a conflict of interest must be avoided.’ According to the trade unions, the current composition ‘cannot lead to an action plan that will be seen as credible across the community’.

At the end of their letter, the trade unions ask for a quick written response, ‘preferably before the Local Consultation Body meeting of 15 April’. A spokesperson announced that the Executive Board will not give a response to Delta. The Executive Board will first talk to the trade unions.

  • The trade unions consultation in the Local Consultation Body is public and will be from 15:30 to 17:00 on 15 April. Location: The Rode Zaal on the 12th floor of EEMCS.

On April 4, TU Delft announced on its intranet that a social safety project team had been created. That message also announced the names of its members. Delta published a news release about this on Friday, April 5. The university has since changed the term ‘project team’ to ‘supervisory committee’. On Thursday, April 11 around 1 p.m., TU Delft took the intranet message about the project team offline. The university has not yet published a separate news release stating that it is a guidance committee instead of a project team. However, another intranet message dated April 11 does mention a supervisory committee. In that same message, the university promises that this supervisory committee will be expanded ‘to also properly represent the international part of the TU community’.

Foto © Sam Rentmeester . 20231019  .
Delta Profielfoto

Saskia Bonger

Annebelle de Bruijn (nieuwsredacteur)

Annebelle de Bruijn

News editor Annebelle de Bruijn

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