Marking Strike 2023
A marking strike.
We perform a marking strike. We withhold grades for final assignments of Block 5. All other responsibilities and tasks will be carried out, facilitation of education will continue. Note: We stipulate that any adjacent colleagues cannot be assigned striking individuals’ sections, in principle and in symbol of mediating overwork impact.
The strike is carried out by so called "D4-teachers", which refers to teachers on a D4-contract. Also referred to as "junior-docenten" or "werkgroepdocenten". To reduce the impact on students, classes continue and feeback is still provided.
The strike is about three core issues: teachers…
- … are doing more than what they are paid for (both in terms of tasks and hours),
- … are kept on temporary contracts,
- … are not getting any/sufficient support in terms of professional development
- At this point, universities and labour unions are re-negotiating the collective labour agreement for university staff (CAO).
- In the past rounds of negotiations, the demand that permanent contracts are needed for lecturers performing structural work has been insufficiently addressed.
- By having the strike now, we want to prevent this from happening again.
What are the demands?
- Permanent contracts
- Professional development
- Workload transparency
We advocate for emphasis on education as that which underlines structural work, and petition for the following conditions to better support employees in junior teacher positions. Long form of demands as follows:
- Public formal response/commitment to docent 4 permanent contracts (operating under the operationalization of structural work as work that fundamentally supports and facilitates student’s educational trajectory, notably teaching/grading/coordinating tutorials), including deadlines and specifics of position/implementation
- Public formal response/commitment to professional career development opportunities, be it mentor programmes, BKO certification training and/or research opportunities/funding
- Provide position in favour of clear workload calculations and take concrete steps against structural overwork. Including: Formalize guidelines of what constitutes comprehensive preparatory materials and expectations of JUDO contributions/workload, etc., as well as disciplinary measures against infringements of stipulated division of labor.
Impact on students?
Given the (increasingly) important role D4-teachers play in university education we believe our demands are also in the interest of students. Fairly paid teachers with (the prospect of building) experience are better teachers.
Still, we recognize that at least on the short term, the marking strike might cause discomfort.
We would like to emphasize that we are not taking this course of action lightly. In fact, we have been spending countless of hours of our free time to build and improve teaching material, without proper recognition or serious career prospects, because we care deeply about students and our classes.
We hope, therefore, that students understand that any frustration about the discomfort should be targeted at the circumstances that drove us to this action.