About us

VAWO is run by inspired Board members, engaged local representatives and enthusiastic office staff who work hard to create a better academic environment.

We support all employees in the academic world. Our campaign to reduce temporary contracts, makes VAWO a trade union for permanent and temporary employees. But we also stand for the quality of academic education and research.

See who we are?



VAWO is a trade union that supports all the employees in the academic world. As the voice of employees, we negotiate about important employment conditions. We do this at formal negotiation tables (university councils, collective agreement tables) and through campaigns and lobbies. Important achievements have been: 'real' doctorate rewards, limits for temporary employment contracts, dealing with work load and personal aid schemes. Furthermore, VAWO provides judicial advice. Our specialists know the academic world through and through and have already helped many people to their satisfaction.

Themes that are close to our heart are:

  • the increase of temporary contracts;
  • the increasing work pressure for all personnel, fed by unhealthy pressure to achieve and a constant growth of extra activities, such as administration, accountability and marketing;
  • the skewed gender balance, that is improving only very slowly;
  • the shift of financing from the first to the second money flow, which also influences the quality of education;
  • the increase of expenses on activities that don’t have a direct connection to the core processes or research and education.

How can I contribute to this?

Become a member

The most successful changes take place from within. Not because of one or a few individuals, but because of a group of people who believe things can and have to get better. That is what VAWO does. The more members VAWO has, the stronger our position is in negotiations with employers and the more influence we will have on politics. That is why the VAWO is always looking for members, people who want the best for the academic world and want to be part of an organisation that sticks up for their interests. By becoming a member and/or making your colleagues members, you are contributing to this.




Take a seat in the OR

Of course you can also have a more active role in VAWO. For example, you can sign up as a candidate for the OR, on behalf of VAWO. For more information: please contact our VAWO representative at your university or institution.

Local representative (Lokaal Overleg)

As a VAWO member in you can become a local representative. This means you represent VAWO at your workplace in the 'Lokaal Overleg' (LO). Togehter with collegues from other trade unions and your employer important agreements surrounding employee’s rights are then established. You also aid employers in putting the collective agreement into effect. The time you spend for LO is compensated by the employer. If you’d like to know more about this, you can get in touch with VAWO office.


If you’re interested in a board function within the VAWO, please contact VAWO office. They would love to inform you of the possibilities.

Participate in events and gatherings

We welcome any help at gatherings and events. Please contact the VAWO representative at your university or institution or report to VAWO office.