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Marianne Midthus Østby

Candidate for the University Board among technical and administrative staff.

Marianne Midthus Østby, Senior Adviser, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Deputy Leader, NTL UiO.

Nominated by:

  • Asle Fredriksen, Pricipal Trade Union Official of Parat UiO
  • Haneef Awan, Senior Engineer, Department for Research Support Services, USIT
  • Natalia Zubillaga, Leader and Principal Trade Union Offical of NTL UiO
  • Caroline Hals, Senior Executive Officer, Department of Psychology, SV
  • Pia Søndergaard, Adviser, Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas, HF
  • Gina Susanna Clausen, Senior Adviser, Institute of Clinical Medicine, MED
  • Jamal Bajja, Works Technician, Estate Department, LOS
  • Lars Solheim, Senior Executive Officer, Department of Finance and Business Management, LOS
  • Rita Iren Olsen, Senior Adviser, Section for Student Affairs, MED
  • Torgeir Lebesbye, Senior Engineer, Department of Informatics, MN
  • Tor Henry Wold, Section Manager, Institute of Clinical Medicine, MED
  • Tone Skramstad, Head of Office, Center for Computing in Science Education, MN

Election platform

Marianne Midthus Østby
Marianne Midthus Østby

For the University of Oslo (UiO) to succeed in fulfilling its social responsibility and achieving good results, a constructive, safe and inclusive working environment is crucial. My main motivation for running for re-election to the University Board is that I want to contribute to UiO being a good place to work, and to find solutions that are tailored to the diversity that UiO represents.

In order for good decisions to be made, it is crucial that they are anchored in the affected professional environments and among the employees. It will continue to be important for me to ensure that the decisions at UiO are made not only on the basis of financial needs, but also following an assessment of the consequences for the employees and their work tasks. These are principles that I advocated during my current term as member of the University Board, and that will remain important for me if I am re-elected for another four years.

Other issues I have been particularly engaged in during my current period as a member of the University Board are:

  • Strategy 2030: Working environment and personnel policy have been important issues for me during this term. In particular, I have worked to ensure that Strategy 2030 also has good and clear ambitions in these areas.
  • Openness / transparency in the consideration of matters by the Board: It has been an important principle for me that the Board’s work should be as transparent as possible, and I have on several occasions been an advocate for this. For example, in connection with the Board’s work on Strategy 2030 and discussions relating to the approval of the rector, I was a clear spokesperson for openness. Transparency about the Board’s work and discussions is an important principle that I will continue to advocate if I am re-elected. 
  • Enterprise model: Succeeded in getting UiO to take a clear position on not implementing an enterprise model. 

Important issues and perspectives I will bring to the University Board:

UiO is under pressure

UiO and the university sector is under constant financial pressure. There are growing expectations of increased productivity while at the same time budgets are being cut (in connection with the Government’s ABE reform for reducing bureaucracy and improving efficiency). Until now, UiO has tried to shield academic activities.  The cuts have mainly been made by reducing the number of technical / administrative staff. This has to stop. The technical-administrative positions are crucial for UiO if is to achieve its ambitious goals. It should not be necessary for UiO to keep positions vacant on an ad hoc basis, or to change organisational models in order to balance its budgets. This results in a poorer working environment for the employees. It also presents major challenges for UiO’s core activities and contributes to poorer conditions for carrying out UiO’s social responsibility.

UiO should be governed from the bottom up

UiO faces many challenges and demands, and must make the necessary adjustments if it is to succeed in fulfilling its social responsibility and adjusting to the green shift. Restructuring in a workplace as large as UiO has an impact on subject areas, functions and employees alike. UiO is a highly diverse university, and the various units have different needs. In order to succeed in restructuring, the processes must enjoy broad support in the organisation and among employees. The decision-making processes must be clear and transparent. The employees must be involved and have a real opportunity to exert an influence, both through co-determination and through their union representatives. In an organisation that is constantly changing, it is important that the employees are ensured security that they will not lose their jobs, and that competence development measures are implemented so that the employees can carry out new tasks and meet new requirements.

UiO must prioritise the working environment and life phase policy

I want to ensure that the ambition in Strategy 2030 that UiO should be an attractive place to work and study, is given high priority over the next four-year period. Demands for efficiency and increased productivity have an impact on our everyday work. On top of this, a little over a year of pandemic has affected all of UiO’s activities and not least, the way we work. Employees and students have, in a very short period of time, adapted to a new digital workday and to new forms of work and collaboration. This will continue to affect UiO as a workplace after the pandemic. It is becoming more important than ever to have good and clear ambitions for the working environment, so that UiO continues to be a good place to be for those who work and study here. UiO must be an open, inclusive and generous workplace, and it is crucial that UiO develops a personnel policy that even better facilitates the job situation in different phases of life and life situations.

UiO should own, operate and manage its own buildings

A key premise for UiO’s activities is that UiO owns, operates and manages its own buildings. Control of our own buildings is an important strategic tool for UiO, which gives us a special advantage for adapting to a professional activity that is constantly evolving. I therefore believe that UiO should own, operate and manage its own buildings, and that these should not be transferred to, for instance, the Norwegian Government’s building commissioner, property manager and developer.

Tasks at UiO should be carried out by employees of UiO

I will work to make sure that UiO fulfils its responsibility as an employer for all the tasks and services it needs to deliver in order to support research and teaching activities. I will continue to take a clear stand against outsourcing of technical-administrative services and cleaning services. In my opinion, there are both financial and quality arguments for opposing outsourcing. There are no grounds for claiming that outsourcing provides any particular opportunities for making savings. Nor will the quality of services necessarily be better by moving them out of UiO, rather the contrary. If the employees care about UiO and the jobs they do, the quality of the services delivered will be better. In my opinion, it is best for everyone that UiO takes full employer responsibility for all employees working for the organisation.

My background

I am a political scientist with organisational knowledge as my main field. I have been employed at UiO since 2005 and have been an active union representative since 2009. I work as a senior adviser at the Department of Clinical Medicine, but I have been a union representative / deputy manager for NTL UiO since 01.12.2018. In the period 2017-2021, I have represented the technical / administrative staff in the University Board.

Both through my job and through my position as an elected representative, I have a lot of relevant experience that is very useful in my capacity as representative of the technical / administrative staff in the University Board. I know the university well at all levels. In addition, I have good knowledge of what is happening in the higher education sector in general, and of political processes that affect our sector. I have participated in several restructuring processes at UiO. I know how important the right of co-determination is, and I am firmly committed to advocating this right in the time ahead. I have represented a number of employees in personnel matters and in wage negotiations. For this work, I have been commended for managing to achieve good results in cases of conflicting interests, where the positions of the two parties have initially been far apart.

Relevant assignments:

  • 2017 - : Board member University Board
  • 2013 - : Expert co-judge in employment law cases
  • 2009 - : Trade union representative NTL UiO
  • 2016 - 2018: Board member NTL UiO
  • 2015 - 2017: Board member at the Faculty Board, Faculty of Medicine
  • 2009 - 2017: Member of appointments council, Faculty of Medicine, UiO
  • 2008 - 2011: HSE representative, Faculty Division, Ullevål University Hospital, UiO 
  • 2009 - 2010: Member of the local working environment committee, Faculty of Medicine (MED-LAMU).
  • 2008- 2010: Deputy member of the appointments committee, Faculty of Medicine, UiO
Published May 12, 2021 4:12 PM - Last modified May 18, 2021 2:48 PM