Unions give ultimatum to youth sector employers

Netherlands

The FNV and other trade unions have set a deadline of 1 November for employers in the youth sector to come up with an improved pay offer or they will aim for a major mobilisation on 20 November. This would be the 10th time in recent years that unions have had to take to the streets to push their demands. The unions argue that the employers’ “final offer” would only lead to more workers leaving the sector and further increases to staff shortages. The biggest stumbling block during the negotiations was inflation compensation for 2023. Following just a 1% pay increase on 3 January, the unions are looking for pay increases in 2024 and 2025 to compensate for inflation. They are aiming for a 10% wage increase by 2024, including the inflation adjustment for 2023, but the employers do not want to go beyond 6.7%. For 2025, employers have offered 3.5%, plus the introduction of automatic price compensation with a maximum of 2% from April to December. However, the unions are demanding an extra 5% and are prepared to discuss automatic price compensation with a maximum of 2%, provided that there is also an agreement on reducing workload.

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