Voorzitter College van Bestuur
In: Uncategorized22 Feb 2012
Among the major dissatisfiers in any professional environment are the cleanliness of the location and the quality of its catering. When it’s ok, nobody talks about it, except when you have contracted a 2 star Michelin chef (as business school IMD in Lausanne once did). When it’s not ok, everybody is unhappy. Unfortunately, we (the EUR) have issues with both. The catering issue is a disappointing price/performance ratio, as clearly communicated by students and staff alike, most recently in the staff engagement survey. The executive board hears this feedback and is taking it up with the caterers as a matter of urgency. I don’t want to overpromise, as we are contractually tied and cannot change conditions unilaterally, but it is clear that improvements are needed. The cleaning issue is more complex, as it strictly does not regard the university. A conflict between the cleaners and their employer about certain labour conditions has led to a series of strikes over the last few months. Of course I understand that it is not enough to say ‘thank you’ and be kind to the cleaners, this in and of itself does not improve their labour conditions. And it is a fact that we have contracted a party that won the tender based on a number of criteria, including price. Labour conditions are important, and cleaning personnel, just like other staff, have certain entitlements (including, to name just a few, basic respect and paid sick leave). It is inappropriate for me to blog or brag about confidential discussions between the executive board and the university’s contracting parties. But we do emphasise the importance of decent working conditions in all our contractual relationships.
Pauline van der Meer Mohr is president of the Executive Board and is responsible for general administrative matters, such as the relationship with the Board of Trustees and the University Council. She focuses on the strategic policy, international affairs and external contacts, including the Rotterdam region, industry and other knowledge institutions.