Sunday, May 29

Fear Viken dissolution will provide a flight of competence

– It hurts. It is at the expense of something that could have been good for the inhabitants, Torunn Korneliussen believes.

She finds it tiring to live with uncertainty about the future of her workplace. The senior adviser’s job in Viken is to distribute gambling funds to municipalities and sports teams.

Korneliussen has gained several new colleagues since Viken was established on 1 January 2020. Colleagues she enjoys.

Now it looks like the professional environments will be divided up again. The Labor Party today agreed to repeal Viken, but the final decision on Viken’s future will be made in the county council on 24 February.

With heart for Viken

On a board in his office, Korneliussen has drawn a red heart around the letters Viken. Around the heart, she has written down all the projects she and her colleagues were to start with. But now she fears that more projects may be put on hold.


UNCERTAINTY: Senior adviser Torunn Korneliussen in Viken County Municipality feels that it is frustrating not to know what is happening in the workplace

Photo: Camilla Lie / NRK

– Today I know that Stig, Jørn Espen, Cato and Simen are my closest colleagues. I can lose three of them, and I do not know who will be my boss, says Torunn Korneliussen.

If Viken is dissolved, some of the colleagues will go to Østfold, Buskerud and others to Akershus. Who can disappear where is not clear.

Korneliussen experiences that the politicians have forgotten those who work in Viken. That’s why she wrote a reader post in Budstikka.

The bay in a bottle

COSTS TO REFORM: The bay has been established and has even been given water bottles with a logo on them. It is estimated that it will cost between 310 million and 440 million to return to the old county structure

Photo: Åse Marit Befring / NRK

– It’s all about what the politicians promised in the election campaign. It’s frustrating when we’ve been working so hard. Viken has become so good with so much cutting-edge expertise, says Torunn Korneliussen.

The costs of dissolving Viken are between NOK 310-440 million, according to the calculation from the county municipality.

Competence flight

The dissolution of the large county can also affect the professional environment. A report from Viken itself warns against a flight of expertise, if the large county is dissolved.

HR director Vegar Arndal in Viken says a new restructuring will be demanding for the employees:

– The load will increase as a result of loss of competence and key personnel, as well as challenging recruitment processes in the county administration.

And one already notices an increase in people quitting. It can get worse, it is feared.

– Transport is an area where we are extra concerned that employees leave to a greater extent than what has been the situation until now. The feedback from line managers and shop stewards is that many are sitting on the fence and awaiting the county council’s treatment.

Korneliussen fears that the service to the inhabitants will be poorer if colleagues are spread in more places and the professional environments become smaller.

– Weakenes himself

By Olaf Lundteigen

WILL REVERSE: Sps Per Olaf Lundteigen denies that there will be a flight of competence if Viken is dissolved

Photo: Hans Cosson-Eide / NRK

But not everyone agrees with this.

Center Party politician Per Olaf Lundteigen is among those who disagree that the flight of competence will be a problem. The division of the new large counties is a matter of flag for Sp.

– We have many challenges, but to talk about weakening professional environments in central Eastern Norway is to go too far, says Lundteigen.

He points out that the counties of Østfold, Akershus and Buskerud all have a large population density with a lot of competence. And that professionals in these counties can still work together across the board.

If leaders in Viken make this a problem, I think they weaken themselves. It comes completely out of proportions. It is of course a demanding restructuring process, but I want to reassure employees that the employees will be well taken care of, and that there will be good professional competence at all levels, says Lundteigen.

Demanding for employees

It was the Solberg government that created Viken. Conservative Mudassar Kapur does not agree with Lundteigen.

Maddusar Kapur

EXPERTISE: Conservative Maddusar Kapur wants to keep Viken and supports the employees

Photo: Vidar Ruud / NTB

– I think Lundteigen takes it too lightly. He does not take employees seriously. It takes time to build good competence environments and good teams, says Kapur.

Before Viken was established, the employees worked for several years on planning. At the time, Korneliussen himself was skeptical of Viken. Now she has turned. She thinks the large professional communities are a strength.

The thought of going through another new adjustment process takes her night’s sleep away.

– The uncertainty causes it to tighten in the stomach. I feel I have to dig deep into myself. There are so many questions that have not been clarified, that I do not understand where to start, she says.

So do many colleagues.

– I know people read job advertisements, says Korneliussen.

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