Letter from executive board on permanency teaching staff

Casual leiden has in its possession a letter written by the executive board to all faculties at Leiden University from 28 March 2022.

It instructs these faculty boards to review and decide on permanent contracts for teaching staff working from 1-3 years (and less than one year). See the letter below (in Dutch).

Why do we consider this a promising letter?

One of Casual Leiden's aims has been the pursuit of permanents contracts for teaching staff ever since 2020. When we finally received an audience with the executive board (cvb) on 9 November 2021, this demand was again put across. However, the executive board claimed repeatedly that they did not have the power to impose changes within the university even though they agreed with the sentiment.

This letter therefore appears to be a big step in the right direction, if enacted well.

  • It potentially expands the pool of permanent positions for teaching staff who have been working for 1-3 years (and below)

  • It would finally recognize and award teaching staff for the structural work they are doing

  • It appears to provide transparent criteria on structural work, seemingly in the spirit of the collective labour agreement

Why is this important and what can it allow the teaching staff to argue for?

In the recent past permanent contracts were avoided at all costs through a variety of arguments such as student numbers or corona-related issues, which was not in line with the collective labour agreement. During the 2021 court case of Arnout van Ree, a teacher at International Studies, the judge presiding the session was indeed critical about the continuous use of temporary contracts at Leiden University.

The starting point of the new document appears not to be avoidance. It now mentions under criteria abcd who will be considered for permanency by defining who is doing structural work. It is permanency first, with exceptions.

For those who are in doubt after reading the letter, as is only understandable, you can get in touch with HR, especially if you do not get permanency. Moreover, it is well worth it to speak to your union representative or legal representative to get it sorted out.

It shows that we can take on a structural problem together! But we do have to remain vigilant in order to see whether this document will actually be enforced.

The struggle is not over yet!

>>>The letter from executive board