Council disagrees with reorganisation facility management
‘This plan won’t solve anything’
Council against reorganising facility management
The services the department offers currently vary from faculty to faculty. Security tasks and front desk staffing differ, as well as how keys are given out and how malfunctions and complaints are handled, says the RUG.
When someone calls in sick, management ‘would rather call the employment agency than a colleague at a faculty one hundred metres away’, and people do not sufficiently exchange knowledge and experiences. As a result, the departments ‘keep inventing the wheel over and over again’, says the board of directors.
To combat this, the RUG wants to bring together the separate services into a central organisational unit that would be part of Facility Management. The board emphasised that they were not looking to make any cutbacks and that no one would lose their job. There would barely be any practical changes to the 140 facility management employees’ jobs.
Hans Biemans, the board member responsible for finances, says especially the facility management departments at the smaller faculties are vulnerable. ‘If a light goes out and there’s no concierge, who’s going to replace the light bulb? Who’s going to take on that job? There are a lot of small ways in which things can go wrong, and we need to improve matters.’
The board says that a central organisational unit would be more efficient. It would also save money. ‘In the end, we want the RUG to get more quality for the same price.’
But just like last year, when there was a similar proposal on the table, a majority of the university council didn’t like it much. They felt the plan would cause rather than solve problems. There is no clear cause or reason to set an operation like this in motion, says the council, and the board’s argument are ‘entirely insufficient’. ‘This proposal solves nothing’, says Dinie Bouwman, chair of the personnel faction.
The facility management department has also told the university council that they’re not doing too great. Bouwman: ‘Apparently it’s a bit of a mess.’ Few of the facility management employees who currently answer to individual faculties are actually interested in making the change towards a central organisation, says the personnel faction.
According to university president Jouke de Vries, employees at the smaller faculties as well as those at Zernike are fine with a central department. He says the naysayers work at a few faculties in the city centre.
The board chairman said the story you hear depends on who you ask. ‘I’ve had people in my office who do want this proposal to succeed. Not everyone is against it, and especially the smaller faculties will benefit.’
The board of directors will present a changed proposal later this academic year.