Demands countdown

The Casual Academy and 0.7 present

Three main demands:

  • End casualization

  • End structural overwork

  • Ensure a safe working environment

We expect concrete plans from the CvBs of all Dutch Universities this semester before December 20.

List of questions to be posed to your CvB

In the latest CAO, employers have committed to address the structural dependence of universities on casual work in local negotiation committees (lokaal overleg). We are sceptical of this promise. However, we are prepared to give employers a semester to prove us wrong.

The following are suggestions for local branches of the Casual Academy, 0.7, local union branches as well as University Councils to demand solid plans from their CvBs before 20 December to address the demands of the Casual Academy and 0.7 and to hold them accountable by the end of the fall semester 2021.

Faculty Councils, Opleidingscommissies and Institute Advisory Boards could use similar questions at Faculty, programme and institute levels to hold their administrators accountable.

After the 20th December, we will suspend our good faith and launch action locally and nationally to force employers to take our demands seriously.

To this end we are calling for a national day of action on the 14th February (Valentine's) around the theme that the University will not love us back. On that day we are calling for activists to organise walk outs, demonstrations, sit ins, public meetings etc. around our three demands: end casualization, end structural overwork, ensure a safe working environment.

Propose concrete demands to your local CvBs and other administrators

End casualization

    • How many employees are currently hired on a temporary contract?
      General information is available here: Ask for specifics divided by OBP/WP/Institutes/Faculties where relevant.

    • How many are on a contract of less than 0.8 fte? Can we get the number of individuals as well as fte involved

    • Which % of those on temporary contracts is currently replacing someone with a permanent contract?

    • Which % of staff per department/institute is hired on a fixed term contract to serve as a flexible layer?

    • What have you done to secure more funding to create more permanent positions? What more will you do? How will you communicate these efforts to the academic community?

    • What have you done to challenge the current grant system and NWO? What more will you do? How will you communicate these efforts to the academic community?

    • What opportunities for career development have you created for junior staff in PhD, docent-4, post-doc, UD and OBP positions hired on a fixed-term contract? What career paths are available for them within the institution? What more will you do?

Concrete demands based upon these numbers:

    • Justify the “flexible layer” with a realistic prognosis based upon student intake fluctuations over the past 7 years and bring down the flexible layer accordingly. Ask the local union representatives to approve of your % flexible layer.

    • In case of high replacement numbers: demand from programme managers a durable staffing plan with a permanent labour pool filling recurrent replacement needs. Ask the local union representatives to approve of the new staffing plan. Faculty boards should enable institutes to hire accordingly.

    • Create viable career paths for all and provide time for career development for all junior staff (PhD, Postdoc, docent-4, docent-3, UD, junior OBP). Ask the local union representatives to approve of the possibilities for career development.

    • Set a deadline: by which date have you brought down the number of fixed term contracts in your university? We expect all staff, including those on fixed-term contracts, to have time for career development by then.

End structural overwork

    • What have you done to make clear to the Ministry/VSNU/CvB/FB that the allotted funding does not cover the tasks required? How have you communicated these efforts to your staff?

    • Are workload calculations transparent? Are the measures for calculation accessible? Have individual calculations been communicated? How will you improve transparency on workload calculations for all employees?

    • How many hours a week on average does your personnel perform unpaid overwork? And how many hours a week by personnel on temporary contracts?

    • What concrete steps have been taken to bring down workload and what more will you do? Have you discussed your plans with local union branches or labour inspection?

Suggested measures WP & OBP

  • hire more permanent staff

  • reduce number of meetings and make them more efficient (see separate doc with suggestions)

  • schedule one meeting-free day a week and schedule meetings at 15 past the hour to allow for breaks

  • set fixed times for (student) communication

  • supervisors and managers should practice what they preach by refusing to work overtime and rewarding employees who protect their own boundaries

  • hire interns and student assistants

  • offer courses on signaling, and responding to, burnout symptoms at all levels of management, coordination and supervision

Suggested measures WP

  • abolish 8-8-4 and shorten the academic year

  • reduce number of courses

  • downsize seminar groups

  • reduce assignments/tests

  • ban resits for midterm assignments

  • choose for less labour intensive assignments/tests

  • simplify grade administration procedures

  • set fixed deadlines for theses

  • provide structural time as well as grants for research or other career development to all junior staff including docent-4 on fixed term contracts

    • Do not pass on the responsibility for these measures to junior staff

    • Make sure these measures do not affect student evaluations of casual staff

    • Set a deadline: by which time have you brought down structural overwork? Plan two identical surveys to check effects of the measures.

  • Ensure a safe working environment

    • Do you have a code of conduct?

      • Was the code of conduct checked by Actiegroep Wangedrag? How is the code of conduct communicated to staff and students?

      • What is the procedure for reporting misconduct? Was the procedure checked by Actiegroep Wangedrag? How is this procedure communicated to staff and students?

      • What is the consequence when someone breaks the code of conduct? How is this communicated and enforced?

      • Does the code of conduct include a plan to protext staff against digital harassment or is there a separate document on digitial harassment? How is this plan communicated and enforced?

    • Is there an ombudsperson or other independent organ with the mandate to investigate, publish reports, give formal advice?

    • Is there a diversity officer or any kind of support particularly aimed at strengthening the position of staff and students of marginalized groups? How about junior staff on fixed term contracts?

      • What kind of support? What kind of mandate does this function have?

      • Do you offer diversity training? Is this offered to people in management functions and in hiring committees?

      • How is this communicated to staff and students?

    • How have you responded to advice from the ombudsperson and the diversity officer? What more will you do? How have you communicated these efforts to staff and students?

    • Do you know the minimum wage of your outsourced labourers such as cleaning, catering and security staff? Demand €14/h minimum wage for all outsourced labour and pay for services accordingly.

    • Set a deadline: by which time will your code of conduct/support services/independent control/diversity training/minimum wage be in order?

  • Time's Up

In the months ahead local and national groups will move to organise demonstrations, sit ins, and industrial action across the country, starting with our national day of action on the 14th February, held under the title: The University Won’t Love Us Back. We will need the support of all staff and students across the sector, and we will be calling on our colleagues and students in the months ahead, both online and offline. For now, supporters can:

. sign the petition Academia does not love us back - for another month.

. make their support visible by printing these posters Petitie ( and spreading them around offices.

. take pictures of themselves, their colleagues, and their friends, holding up these signs, and post them on all social media outlets using these hashtags: #staffshouldstay, #casualacademy, #academiawontloveusback, #casual[name of your institution]. You can download the template on the right.

. enroll in your local ‘casual group’ (see here and here) or contact us to raise a new one.

Time's Up.docx