No Works Council elections this year
There will be no Works Council elections this year, the reason being that there are as many candidates as available seats. ‘We would have preferred to have elections, but this is the reality,’ says Chairman of the Works Council Ezra Delahaije. There won’t be an opportunity to vote for seven of the ten Representative Councils either.
In late April, two members of the Works Council told Vox that they expected difficulties in finding enough candidate members for the elections that were to start on 31 May. Due to the pandemic, there was no opportunity this year for the casual chats in corridors and around the coffee machine, where many new members are traditionally recruited. This made it difficult to convince enough staff members to apply for a seat in the Works Council.
This fear was well-founded, as apparent from the recently published candidate list. Five parties put together an electoral list, but they jointly submitted a total of only 21 candidates – precisely the number of seats to be allocated in the Works Council elections. As a result, no elections will be held this year.
‘It’s a pity, but there’s nothing we can do,’ says Chairman of the Works Council Ezra Delahaije (FNV). ‘In an ideal world, we would have liked to hold elections. I comfort myself with the thought that the 21 people on this list really want to be on the Council.’
Since there will be no elections, the composition of the Works Council for the next two years is already known. With eight seats, Algemeen Universitair Belang (AUB) is the largest party (they have six seats in the current Works Council), followed by FNV unions with seven seats (currently eight seats) and AOB with three seats (the same number as now).
Promovendi Overleg Nijmegen and Temporary Personnel RU have merged into one small party with two seats. In the current University Joint Assembly, they jointly hold four seats. A surprising newcomer to the Works Council is the one-man party of Student Chaplain Jos Geelen, Lijst Jos Geelen.
The 21 candidates are well distributed across the different University faculties and units, with the important exception of the Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies, which is not represented in the new Works Council.
Staff members won’t have a chance to vote for seven of the ten Representative Councils, the participational bodies at faculty level, either. Only the Nijmegen School of Management, the Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies, and the Faculty of Social Sciences have put forward more candidates than there are seats. There will be elections for these Representative Councils.