Of all the topics on the COR's agenda this past year - Corona, Ukraine, professors' policy, Occupational Health and Safety Service, Risk Inventory and Evaluation, the new Rector - the Jobsecurity for Lecturers policy was the most extraordinary. After many years of many bad contracts for lecturers, temporary too often and too long, too little perspective, and high work pressure, suddenly the time was ripe for change. This led to a UvA-wide new policy that offers all lecturers career perspectives, from Lecturer4 to Lecturer1, and makes Recognition and Rewards for Lecturers concrete.
Teachers' outline memorandum: radical break with the past
In a working group, the CvB, representatives of the University Committee for Local Consultation (UCLO) and the Central Works Council (COR) wrote the Outline Memorandum, which is a radical break with previous teacher policies. For example, contracts are by default 0.8 - 1.0 FTE, the number of hours to be worked must correspond to the contract, the tasks assigned must correspond to the description of the UFO profile of the appointment (i.e. not doing D-2 tasks within a D-4 contract). D-4 contracts are always temporary, up to a maximum of 4 years, with the guarantee of career development. Read more about this in the outline memo (link).
Such an extraordinary break with the past led to confusion last month. Does this mean that all existing teacher contracts must be re-examined? Yes, but in stages: first the expiring contracts and the new contracts, after September the permanent contracts. Will everyone get a 0.8-1.0 FTE contract? No, a department must have enough formation for that. So there are plenty of questions to ask. A lot of customization is needed, and human resources and the heads of operations are working their butts off to properly implement this new policy.
More generous multi-year strategic personnel policy
What is striking in all this is that this policy is so different from decades of practice that people are implementing it too cautiously, and with the frugal approach of the past. Or viewing the new policy with the mistrust of the past (as in many discussions on the shop floor and in the press). The goal of the new policy is for programs and departments to do multi-year strategic personnel planning, and get away from the frenzy of day-to-day student numbers. So not: how many teachers do we need next academic year, but: what is our desired staffing level in five years?
Monitoring the new policy
The new policy went into effect on June 7, 2022. Its implementation started then, but has not been completed yet. Time is needed to review all contracts, to see what the impact is on courses and departments, whether it leads to more D-3 contracts, to a smaller flexible shell in the D-line. The UCLO and the COR - and in the faculties the Works Councils - will monitor the implementation, to see that all opportunities that this new policy offers are taken advantage of.