Personnel policy at the University of Oslo
Prepared through a collaboration of UiO, the Norwegian Civil Service Union, the Norwegian Association of Researchers, Parat and the Federation of Norwegian Professional Associations on 1 March, 2006
UiO’s personnel policy shall help the university to meet its academic objectives, which are based on chapter 1 of the Act relating to universities and university colleges.
The personnel policy shall serve as a common platform on which personnel-related administrative measures throughout the entire university will be based, and shall contribute to a cohesive practice of the personnel-related administrative framework.
The leadership and staff of UiO have a mutual obligation to follow-up on the positions and objectives laid down in the personnel policy.
- UiO shall be an attractive work place by virtue of employment conditions that provide meaningful job duties, opportunities for personal development, a good working environment and an institutional culture characterised by a high level of academic and social involvement.
- Academic autonomy, integrity and intellectual freedom are fundamental values that guide UiO’s activities, and these shall be reflected in the personnel policy.
- UiO shall have open processes, good communication and active dialogue between the leadership and staff with regard to the operation and development of the university’s activities. Key values for UiO as a work place are equality, respect, participation and co-determination.
- UiO shall have critical debate and freedom of expression based on fundamental values such as the search for truth, democracy and freedom of the individual to formulate personal opinion.
- UiO assumes that every employee wants to do a good job. Individual effort and initiative shall receive a positive response, and interaction between colleagues shall be characterised by mutual tolerance, respect and open-mindedness.
- UiO shall be an employer that sets high standards with regard to expertise, effort and results, while providing employees with good academic and collegial support and opportunities for further professional and personal development.
- UiO shall focus on developing employees who possess a combination of expertise, commitment, independence and sense of responsibility.
- During restructuring, the employer shall emphasise the need for openness and security in the process, and attend to obligations of a legal and ethical nature related to the interests of the staff. The individual employee is likewise obliged to contribute to sound solutions, including through active participation in the restructuring process.
- UiO shall integrate gender equality as a conscious component in all its activities, treat all employees as equals, and counteract all forms of discrimination and unreasonable differential treatment.
Personnel policy guidelines
UiO’s personnel policy shall provide latitude for action in order to promote effective adaptation to changing challenges and alterations in framework conditions, while maintaining a firm basis in the following principles:
- develop a targeted, proactive recruitment policy, and actively make use of available instruments for recruiting and retaining valued expertise;
- conduct long-term, cohesive planning in order to recruit and retain skilled employees, and adapt the university’s overall expertise to its own priorities and the needs of society;
- establish conditions that enable researchers, research groups and research communities to achieve a high, international level of academic merit;
- make a special effort to improve the recruitment of groups that represent significant, unused potential for the university: women, various minority groups and international researchers at an early stage in their careers.
B. Personnel follow-up and competence development
- have a system to follow-up the individual employee, including through regular supervisor-employee meetings;
- focus attention on and reward achievements and efforts that help the university to achieve its objectives in all areas and at all levels;
- actively facilitate individualised adaptation of job duties in a manner that combines UiO’s operational needs with the individual’s background and skills, phase of life and overall life situation;
- establish conditions for a good physical and psycho-social working environment that fosters motivation and good collegial relationships. Collegial interaction shall have a high ethical standard, which does not tolerate behaviour or statements that are offensive or intentionally destroys the trust in others without legitimate cause;
- ensure that researchers are given more uninterrupted time to conduct research and provide a solid resource framework for research activity;
- safeguard the freedom of individual researchers to select their research questions and methodology and to publish their findings;
- ensure that all employees have the opportunity to develop professionally, and formulate a plan for competence development that combines individual needs for skills enhancement with UiO’s academic and administrative needs;
- offer the opportunity for individual competence development through measures for the mutual transfer of knowledge between employees, groups and levels, and develop forms of cooperation that facilitate good contact and cohesiveness within the organisation;
- support activities that promote quality, effectiveness and professionalism in all areas of activity, including measures that reduce the administrative tasks of the academic staff.
C. Involvement in the operation and development of UiO
- give all employees individual influence and responsibility in relation to their job duties;
- ensure that focus is placed on the individual employee’s contribution to the collective results and development of the group, in addition to individual achievements;
- conduct involvement-based restructuring processes, in which the employer, affected employees and system of employee representatives cooperate on implementing relevant measures;
- ensure that the civil servant organisations become involved at an early stage so that they have genuine potential to influence the outcome of decisions regarding restructuring;
- have an organisation and allocation of personnel resources that is always adapted to academic objectives and changing challenges and framework conditions, while meeting the need for continuity and stability;
- make good use of the employee representatives’ knowledge and experience in the operation and development of the university, as well as in the efforts to formulate and practice personnel policy.
UiO has specified in a variety of documents how the respective personnel policy objectives shall be realised. These documents include the institutional wage policy, action plan for gender equality, agreement on an inclusive working life, adjustment agreement for the main agreement (hovedavtalen i staten), and the institutional restructuring agreement. Additionally, concrete measures and other types of regulations related to personnel administration are laid down in numerous laws, agreements, regulations, etc. related to the public sector as a whole and to the higher education sector in particular.
University of Oslo
CASE 314 UiO’s Personnel Policy
On 20 February, 22 February and 1 March 2006, meetings were conducted on the university campus between UiO and the Norwegian Civil Service Union (NTL), the Norwegian Association of Researchers, Parat and the Federation of Norwegian Professional Associations.
Present (at one or more meetings):
From the civil servant organisations
Anita K. Solhaug (NTL), Ulrik Sverdrup (NTL), Kristen Døssland (Federation of Norwegian Professional Associations), Live R. Skrindo (Norwegian Association of Researchers), Aud Jorunn Samdal (Norwegian Association of Researchers), Tordis Juul (Parat), Unni Bingen (Parat)
Elisabeth Halsen, Johannes Falk Paulsen, Wenche Hanneborg
Elisabeth Halsen chaired the meetings, and the parties unanimously agreed on the contents of the personnel policy as presented in the attached document dated 1 March 2006. The parties have also agreed that in early 2006 specific instruments will be designed for:
- stage-of-life policy
- competence development
NTL - Norwegian Association of Researchers
Parat - Federation of Norwegian Professional Associations
Addition to the protocol by NTL Association
NTL supports the personnel policy at the University of Oslo with the exception of the following statement:
Collegial interaction shall have a high ethical standard, which does not tolerate behaviour or statements that are offensive or intentionally destroys the trust in others without legitimate cause.
In the view of NTL, this provision limits freedom of expression.