Negotiations covering around 130,000 civil servants started on 10 May and Marco Ouwehand, the spokesperson for the FNV trade union and chair of EPSU’s National and European Administration Committee has provided some insight into the first steps in the bargaining and the main issues at stake. So far the union side has not put forward a specific claim for a pay rise but it is aiming for compensation for inflation with an emphasis on protecting lower paid workers in particular. One target is ensuring a minimum hourly pay rate of €14. The negotiations will also cover early retirement and measures to tackle excessive workloads. Other issues include providing all employees have access to some form of whistleblowing process and the two side will look at how to green the workplace. Finally, there will also be discussions on rewards for extra effort and achievement, with the union concerned about the lack of consistency in the process and that the higher rewards tend to go to the higher paid. Marco underlines the importance of employee participation throughout the bargaining process.
State sector negotiations get under way
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