Ghent University unions leave negotiating table

Submitted by ACOD UGent on vr, 10/13/2023 - 11:43

Dear colleagues,

On Thursday morning, October 12, 2023, the three Ghent University trade organizations jointly left the negotiating table.

University management informed us today during a meeting of the Personnel Negotiation Committee (POC) that next week - during information sessions on October 16 and 17 - they want to communicate to all employees of the central administration about the so-called "HR instruments". These are the measures that should help achieve the reduction in the number of job positions at Ghent University as required in the budget reduction plan. However, negotiations on this are still ongoing, and a number of important issues have not yet been resolved. In this way, the board is undermining those ongoing negotiations. This is the final straw for the trade unions, after a period in which discussions with the university board on both the budget reduction plan and other topics have been very difficult. Our feeling at the moment is that the negotiations no longer offer any prospects, and that is why we are returning to you to hear your opinion.

Although the rector is the chairman of the negotiations, he apologized again today - for the umpteenth time in a row. After leaving the negotiating table, the three trade unions immediately requested an urgent meeting with the rector about the problematic way in which university management deals with social dialogue at our university. This conversation will take place on Friday afternoon, October 13.

Finally, we would also like to invite you to a hybrid staff meeting (in Dutch) on Thursday afternoon, October 19, 2023 at 12 noon.

This meeting will take place in auditorium 3.1 Jean-Norbert Cloquet (Technicum Block 2 in Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 41), and online via MS Teams. We hereby provide you with the MS Teams meeting link.

At this staff meeting we would like to inform you in more detail about the current state of affairs in social consultation and negotiations at Ghent University.

It is very important that as many of you as possible attend this staff meeting and, if possible, are also physically present in the auditorium.

The current working method of management is causing social consultation to stagnate, with less and less prospect of arriving at a constructive solution. It is important for us as a trade union to hear what you think about what should happen next. This is important for us to determine what position we must and can take towards management. We therefore expressly request that you be present at this staff meeting, even if this means that other tasks have to be left behind. In any case, as a staff member you have the right to leave your workplace and leave your work to be present. Your attendance will also determine the next steps we can take as a union.

For practical reasons, we would like to ask you to let us know, if possible, whether you will participate in this staff meeting by registering via the following link:

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Please feel free to forward this message to other colleagues.

Kind regards,