Ronald Kuil of Campus Real Estate & Facility Management had a seat in the Works Council (OR) on behalf of the FNV party over the last three years. This time he is the chair. Delta spoke to him shortly before the Works Council elections on October 3 and 4.
What do you enjoy about being part of the OR?
“It gives you an idea about all the things going on at TU Delft and you can represent the interests of the staff. You also look well beyond your own work area. This was my drive to join the OR.”
What does the FNV party stand for?
“The FNV (Federation of Dutch Trade Unions) does not only represent union members. We refer to ourselves as the beating heart of the OR. We want everyone at TU Delft to have a good and safe workplace and to enjoy going to work.”
How do you collaborate with the Federation?
“We have regular consultations and there is a members group at TU Delft who we can talk to. These are people at TU Delft who are members of the FNV. If our party deems it necessary to discuss a particular issue with the Union, we can do that.
Apart from that, our Federation is also part of the local consultation where agreements about the CAO (collective labour agreement) are made. This is an important issue for employees, but the OR is not involved in it. So it is good to have that line of communication.”
‘We all want to make sure there is good policy’
There are four parties in the OR. Are there big differences between them?
“You see little difference between the parties in the OR. It is not like in politics where one party is for something and another against. We all want to make sure there is good policy.”
The turnout at the last OR elections was 28%. How can this be increased this year?
“We are trying to raise the profile of the OR in our own network by encouraging people to vote. We also held a meeting for FNV members. We have neither the money nor the human resources for a big campaign. It is important to keep communicating on what the OR does. And we have made good strides. We had 26 people for 25 seats at the last elections, and we now have 36.”
With this turnout rate, it seems that the work of the OR is not visible for a lot of staff members.
“That is a real shame. The OR handles issues that are important for everyone. People do not realise what the OR can mean for them. It is not about individual cases, but if a group of employees are dissatisfied about something, we can signal it. The Works Council is part of a lot of discussions about various issues and represents the voice of the staff in the discussions. So it really is important to vote.”
Does the Executive Board have a good idea about what is going on, on the shop floor?
“I think they know the issues at play. But they are at another level in the organisation. The question is to what extent they are occupied with the issues at play on the shop floor.”
- This is the first episode of a series in which Delta talks to the chairmen of the four parties running for election about the work of the Works Council.
- Delta also spoke to Winke Kloosterman, Maaike Swarte and Rebekka van der Grift
- Want to know more about the work of the Works Council? In the video below, the Works Council has briefly outlined its duties.