Youth, Economic Policy, Netherlands, Europe
(June 2017) A new report from the CBS statistics office highlights three key trends in the labour market reflecting greater inequality and less security. Overall the percentage of workers on permanent contracts has fallen from 71% to 61% while the labour market is becoming more divided between low-paid, low-skilled jobs and high-paid work, with few jobs in the middle. The report also found more young people and those with basic education are stuck in low-paid jobs with little autonomy or security.
The European Commission has published its annual review of Employment and Social Developments which has a focus on intergenerational issues. The review notes the slow decline in unemployment but underlines that there remain major problems in some countries around youth unemployment while young workers in employment are more likely to face precarious employment conditions. At the other end of the age spectrum the Commission continues to focus on trends to higher effective retirement ages and the need, as it sees it, to increase retirement ages.
The ETUC reports that it has successfully negotiated and lobbied for a Recommendation by the European Council that sets out a number of measures to improve apprenticeships. These include:involving social partners in the design, governance and implementation of apprenticeship systems; a written agreement on learning and working conditions; a call for apprentices to be paid in line with national or sectoral requirements or collective agreements; and that they should be entitled to social protection, including necessary insurance in line with national legislation.
Members of EPSU's young workers' network were active at the federation's Quality Employment conference last week, chairing debates and putting together a panel to discuss the key issues they are trying to address. Zahra Yusifli from Azerbaijan and Sven De Guise from Belgium chaired the discussions on digitalisation and low pay, while Zahra was also involved in the young workers' panel with Joe O'Connor from Ireland and Judit Zsigo from Hungary. They underlined the need for trade unions to look at how they communicated with young workers and what they were doing not just recruit them but also
Campaigning by the youth section of the FNV trade union has paid off with implementation of a change in the national minimum wage. The adult rate will now be applied from 21 rather than 22. This means 21-year-olds will benefit from the new EUR 9,44 rate, a 45% increase on the previous rate, which was only EUR 6,49. While being delighted with the result the union's youth section is determined to keep up the fight to get right of the other age-related rates so that the full adult rate applies from 18.
Workers in public libraries are set to get a 5% pay increase in a new collective agreement running from 1 July 2020 to 1 July 2021. A 3% pay rise will be backdated to 1 January and a further 2% increase will follow in January 2021. There will also be an overtime bonus for part-time workers, abolition of youth pay rates and limits on use of temporary contracts. However, the additional payment for Sunday work will be reduced and unions are unhappy about limited notice of rosters. Meanwhile unions have rejected a pay offer for central government workers arguing that a 0.7% pay increase and € 225