The FNV trade union is refusing to sign a new collective agreement covering the ambulance sector arguing that it fails to deliver on pay and jobs. Indeed, the union says that pay rates in the agreement are below those paid by agencies and so the agreement will do nothing to stem the flow of workers out of direct employment in the sector. The FNV organised a petition signed by over 2000 ambulance staff calling for better pay and action on jobs and hours but the head of the ambulance service didn't event meet FNV members to accept the petition. A two-hour work stoppage was organised in the Rotterdam region on 21 November while work-to-rule actions continue across the country.
Ambulance union rejects agreement and continues protest action
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The FNV union is planning a new round of actions in the ambulance sector as it continues its long-running campaign to improve pay and conditions and address excessive workloads. The union has called on the employers to negotiate a plan with concrete measures including a commitment to a specific deadline to deal with staff shortages; reducing overtime and additional work; complying with the collective agreement in relation to breaks and the reduction of external hiring and subcontracting; and an agreement to increase salaries in line with other parts of the health sector.
The care and welfare section of the FNV trade union will re-launch its protest campaign among ambulance workers following a failure to secure funding for extra pay. The protests were suspended in November (see epsucob@NEWS 21, November 2017) when a commitment was given to provide EUR 19.5m to deal with major staff shortages in the sector. The FNV says that EUR 13.5m of this should cover higher pay with a demand for EUR 1500 for each worker this year. This is needed to address the massive work overload and attract more workers to the sector where pay is lower than other parts of the health