Central Works Council elections in April 2019
New elections will be held for the NWO Central Works Council on 8 April 2019. The current term of two years will then have been completed. In April/May there are also works council elections at many institutes as well as at NWO-D and the NWO-I Office. The works councils of AMOLF, ASTRON, ARCNL, CWI, DIFFER, Nikhef, NIOZ, SRON, NWO-D and NWO-I Office and the personal representation of NSCR, determine which representatives they send to the Central Works Council.
Two seats for PhDs at university workgroups
PhDs employed by NWO-I, but who work at universities, have two seats in the NWO Central Works Council. Elections for the Central Works Council will be held on 8 April. As NWO-I no longer appoints any university-based PhDs, it is important that their voice continues to be heard within NWO. Who will ensure that this group is not forgotten within the large NWO organisation? Being a member of the Central Works Council costs time of course. You can therefore obtain an extension of your PhD contract to compensate for this. Dutch is the working language of the Central Works Council. Stand for election as a representative of the university-based PhDs!
In May 2019, a Central Works Council with new members will be appointed. On 6 and 7 May, the reins will be handed over during a two-day training course. From that moment onwards it is up to the new Central Works Council to represent the interests of all NWO employees. Would you like to know more about what being a representative of the Central Works Council involves? Then please contact the current Central Works Council members on behalf of the university workgroup PhDs: Janou Koskamp or Guus van der Borg.
Privacy legislation GDPR
Privacy is one of the priority areas of the Central Works Council. It is therefore carefully monitoring the implementation of the privacy legislation GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). We exchange ideas about this with the NWO executive board.
Within the foreseeable future, we will talk with the NWO executive board about the Implementation Regulations after 2019. We will ask the local works councils to put forward subjects for these talks. The Central Works Council will use this input as a basis for negotiations. We will of course report any developments that occur. If you would you like to know more about this, please contact your local representative or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Introducing NWO Central Works Council member Frank van Amerongen
‘You must keep on working at it together even if you are sitting on opposite sides of the table’
Frank van Amerongen represents DIFFER in the NWO Central Works Council and at DIFFER he leads the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Unhealthy work pressure is one of the themes he has focused on within the Central Works Council. 'By signalling work pressure at an early stage and removing stress factors, we are trying to reduce stress within NWO. We have made this a priority area for the Central Works Council.'
Frank van Amerongen knows the Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research (DIFFER) really well: the aerospace engineer has worked there for 25 years. Both the design department and the engineering workshop, which serve all of DIFFER's research groups, fall under his responsibility. This is Van Amerongen's second time in the works council. When DIFFER relocated from the Rijnhuizen estate in Nieuwegein to the campus of Eindhoven University of Technology in 2010, he was, amongst other things, a member of the Central Works Council committee ‘Relocation Rijnhuizen’ and together with a representative from the trade union he negotiated with the director about the Relocation Plan for DIFFER employees. 'I have been a member of the Central Works Council for 18 months now and find it interesting to observe the ins and outs of the organisation, also outside my own Institute. Within the Central Works Council, we are involved in decisions that concern more than a single institute. For example, I was involved in the project ‘Standardising Appraisal Interviews’ to ensure that the approach for these is the same across NWO. I also hold these interviews as a manager and that means you have a certain perspective on such a project.'
In addition, Van Amerongen focuses within the Central Works Council on managing work pressure and work stress. 'We are working towards colleagues recognising the symptoms in each other, pointing out unsafe situations to each other and ensuring that, wherever possible, work pressure is detected at an early stage. At the same time, we also want to ensure that employees know what they can do about this. Take, for example, a colleague who leaves work stressed to pick up his or her children on time from the day-care centre. Just offering some flexibility in work time is sometimes enough to allow stress factors to be removed using small steps. That can prevent a lot of problems. The NWO Central Works Council has made this a priority area and is encouraging NWO to come up with policy for this.'
Keeping people informed
'I keep the DIFFER works council informed about what is happening at the Central Works Council. But I also inform colleagues at the institute. When the Implementation Regulation negotiations were taking place, I explained these during the monthly informal meeting for employees. I notice that people are mainly interested in the Central Works Council if something is going on, for example a new implementation regulation or when the institute was relocated.'
Finally, Van Amerongen emphasises that he particularly enjoys the excellent spirit of collaboration within the Central Works Council but also with the current NWO executive board members. After all, you must keep on working at it together.