Union pushes for transitional agreement in childcare

Netherlands

The FNV trade union was due to begin talks with childcare employers to negotiate a transitional collective agreement to cover the approximately 114,000 employees in the sector, particularly with a view to address the challenges of retaining and attracting staff. The union notes that staff shortages and heavy workloads are leading to high levels of sickness absence and that the numbers leaving the profession increased significantly in 2023. The aim is to secure a temporary agreement for the second six months of 2024 in the lead up to negotiations over a long-term agreement. A recent FNV survey found that childcare workers want more control over their schedules, activities and working hours and the union wants to ensure that workers are not doing a lot of administrative work outside working hours. The FNV is also seeking automatic price compensation in the collective agreement and a 2% increase in the end-of-year bonus, noting that wages in childcare are more than 10% behind wages in other healthcare and education collective agreements.

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