Canteen staff fired, rehired

All 30 employees of the canteens and restaurants at the RUG will be fired as part of a reorganisation and immediately hired by the new ownership.
By Peter Keizer / Translation by Traci White

That plan is included in the announcement of the reorganisation which will be discussed in the University Council this week. The employees in question will technically lose their jobs at the university, but their salary and position will continue to be provided through a new ownership.

The new owners must guarantee that the employees will be able to work for them for a minimum length of time, but how long that will be remains to be seen. ‘In a transition period involving staff, an agreement is always made about guaranteeing employment for a certain period of time. But that also means that the new company cannot simply fire them once that period has elapsed’, according to department head Tom de Witt Hamer.

The RUG wants to outsource the restaurants and canteens because it costs the university millions to keep them up and running. ‘That is money that we could otherwise use on education and research’, RUG president Sibrand Poppema previously stated. Furthermore, students supposedly want more variety and for more options for the international university population.


There were earlier plans to replace the large canteens with smaller vendors such as Satebar, Tostiworld and Has Döner Kebab, but that was shot down. The Board of Directors decided subsequently to approach six food about their thoughts on the future of the canteens at the RUG.

According to the catering companies, they are better poised to provide for the evolving needs of students and staff, and five out of the six potential providers believe they can do so for the same price or cheaper than the current operations.

Cheese sandwiches

A survey among RUG staff and students was conducted to gauge what they think about the current canteens. In general, most respondents were satisfied, even though many students reported feeling that the sandwiches, soda and salads are a bit too expensive. Students in particular were interested in seeing a healthy but basic offering with cheese sandwiches, soup and coffee or tea.

The employees in question will be informed about the plans early next month.


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