Lotje Siffels addresses President of the Board Marcel Nollen in front of the Academy Building.
Lotje Siffels addresses President of the Board Marcel Nollen in front of the Academy Building.

Statue: Algemene Onderwijsbond

Action for permanent contracts at universities

Structural work must mean a permanent contract. 'Arrange that in the collective labor agreement', was the appeal from the activists on Domplein in Utrecht to the collective labor agreement negotiators.

A man in a denim jacket is holding a wooden stick. He starts beating his red drum and the activists shout in practice: 'No permanency, no votes.' The statue of Jan van Nassau on the Domplein is the backdrop for the banner where the requirement is succinctly summarized: 'Structural work = a permanent contract.' That is why dozens of university and union employees gathered in front of the Academy Building this afternoon.


The action was set up by the action groups 0.7, CasualAcademy and CasualUvA, supported by the FNV and AOb† They took action this afternoon because a collective labor agreement was planned. Lotje Siffels of action group 0.7 urgently addressed President of the Board Marcel Nollen of the Free University and representative in the collective labor agreement consultation on behalf of the employers. “Let's work together. We want to do the job, but we don't want to be exploited. Then we will fight. We don't want any more lies, no more statements that there is no money. We don't care.”

'We want to do the work, but we don't want to be exploited'

Siffels says that Nollen has the opportunity to show that universities want to end temporary contracts, structural overtime and an unsafe working environment. Because that's all you have to deal with as a teacher with a temporary contract: you depend on managers for contract extensions. You cannot settle down and buy a house, you remain vulnerable, you have to move from university all the time, you experience a lot of stress and your mental state deteriorates. There is a fear of speaking out and of feeling safe, says Siffels with clenched fists when she addresses Nollen in English. It is: 'Shut up, work up for your next contract'. For an employer like Nollen, according to the campaigner, it is all 'collateral damage' for many, it is the daily reality.

Cardboard box

After Siffel's speech, Nollen is offered a cardboard box from another activist. A box that many temporary employees pack to move to another location when their contract ends. The president of the Executive Board does not make any concrete commitments, but says that it is 'coming in' and that he also shares the same values ​​as the activists. “I respect you and take it to the collective labor agreement table. Immediately the drum starts and an alarm sound: “Take it off the table, put it in the collective agreement”, the activists chant.

'Take it off the table, put it in the collective agreement'

CLA commitment

De AOb has stated in the current collective labor agreement commitment for these negotiations that there should be more permanent jobs for teachers and researchers, it said AObNegotiator Donald Pechler know before. If temporary lecturers and researchers function well, they must be given a permanent contract within twelve months. As is already the case in the current collective labor agreement for all other positions, the support functions, associate professors and professors.

The activists want clear agreements in the collective labor agreement. Because, said Siffels, the networks are expanding at the universities and they will call strikes if necessary. At the UvA there is already from 1 April a partial strike underway with teachers no longer entering student grades. “Don't create your own opposition. We will not stop until this is settled.”

Join the AOb. Together we are stronger at the negotiating table. 

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