The re-elections for the personnel faction of the Faculty of Arts faculty council have changed the make-up of the council. Geramé Wouters now has a seat. She calls it ‘a victory for democracy’.
Wouters, a lecturer in Dutch at the Language Centre, is happy with the new results. ‘My colleagues also responded well’, she said on Monday morning. ‘They’re happy the Language Centre is represented on the faculty council.’
Wouters was one of three people who objected to the results of the official elections in May. It turned out that staff with zero-hour contracts weren’t allowed to vote this year, when they had been during previous elections.
According to the objecting parties, the Central Electoral Committee wasn’t allowed to just change that. Wouters also claimed that if the people who were now excluded had been allowed to vote, she wouldn’t have been missing the three votes she needed to get a seat on the council.
An arbitration committee agreed with the objection and advised the board of directors to hold new elections. The board agreed, and so the staff at the arts faculty once again had to vote on who they wanted to see on their faculty council’s personnel faction.
According to the official results, 660 employees voted in the re-elections. That’s eight more than the 652 staff members in May. The turnout was a lot lower than the first time, though: in May, 60.43 percent of all employees voted, while this week, it was 48.18 percent.
In the re-elections, Wouters indeed gained three votes more than she did in May. She ended up in sixth place of the nine elected staff members.
‘I have been at the faculty for thirty years, so I think I can represent the entire arts department and not just the Language Centre’, Wouters says. The new personnel faction will start on October 1. That means the first meeting will be held with the current faction, without Wouters.