The Erasmus University is steaming towards a structural deficit of €13 million per year. Starting the end of 2014, measures will be taken to prevent this deficit. Around 110 FTE’s are at risk. Forced layoffs in support staff are not ruled out.

The reasons for the looming deficit lie in the declining student numbers which will decrease income in the future, and in the budget cuts of the national government. Additionally, the university must reduce overhead costs; these are significantly higher than the national average which was agreed upon between national government and universities in performance agreements.

13 million ‘readjustments’

“It’s deflated, we have to intervene now,” says Bart Straatman, the Executive Board member responsible for the finances of the university. The 13 million ‘readjustments’ consist of 6 million worth of cuts in support staff, 2 million additional income and 5 million cuts at faculties, of which FSW, iBMG and ESHCC are already in the process of reorganization.

Major operation

“We are going to cooperate with the unions and I sense a great deal of realism with them, they understand something needs to be done. But it is a major operation; of the 800 support staff, 12 to 13 percent needs to disappear. We aim to realise that primarily through natural outflow and a vacancy stop. We are also going to put a lot of effort in helping people transition to new jobs. But we have to apply the interventions now, we cannot lose an average of 10 million every year. That money had better be spent in a solid social policy,” according to Straatman.

Come summer there must be clarity on the budget cut interventions, and in the second half of 2014 the first interventions will be effected. WG/photo: Michelle Muus