Despite the collective bargaining agreement that employment is in principle for an indefinite period unless a fixed-term contract is deemed necessary, the number of teachers on fixed-term contracts has increased substantially in recent years. In addition to the uncertainty these contracts create, the appointments are usually part-time positions with no more than 28 paid hours per week (0.7 fte) or often even less than that. Fortunately, there is increasing resistance against these examples of bad employment practices, and more and more people are speaking out against it.
That is why this year the AOb has joined forces with action groups Casual Academy and 0.7 to award the AcademiX or “academy-Kiss” to an initiative at a Dutch university that has led to more permanent contracts. The initiative may involve a person, an organization, a campaign, a project, or a change in personnel policy. The jury is looking for examples that show that a good hiring policy is indeed possible. Does your department provide teaching staff with the stability they need to thrive? When you left your employer, did you feel like you were taking a new step instead of feeling discarded? Did your employer stop offering contracts smaller than 0.8? Or does your program work with a large permanent group of experienced lecturers that handle annual fluctuations in student numbers and replacement needs?
From all the eligible nominations, the winner will be determined by drawing lots. With the draw, the AOb, Casual Academy and 0.7 are distancing themselves from the atmosphere of competition and prizes that plagues our sector. Instead, the AcademyX is a moment to reflect on all the positive initiatives for good working conditions in higher education. All nominees will be put in the spotlight in the process. Nominations can be submitted by sending an email to academieKus@aob.nl mentioning the nominee and a brief motivation.