Nov. 05, 2019 Health unions FNV and NU'91 report that very high levels of support are building for the first ever national hospital strike set for 20 November. The unions initially expected action to be organised in around half of hospitals and clinics but the level of anger among workers means that strike action in non-urgent services is being planned in over 90% of institutions. The unions are looking for a 5% pay increase for 2019 and additional payments for workers who are called in to work at short notice (see EPSU Collective Bargaining News 20, October).
Oct. 22, 2019 Unions representing hospital workers, including FNV and NU'91, are planning the first ever national hospital strike on 20 November when non-urgent facilities will be closed. The unions are trying to put pressure on the employers to improve their latest offer in negotiations over a collective agreement covering 200000 workers. The unions want a 5% pay rise for this year plus extra payments for workers who have to work additional hours at short notice. The employers want a longer-term deal, offering the equivalent of a 2.8% increase a year but also want to reduce health insurance and sickness benefits.
Oct. 09, 2019 Hospital sector trade unions are continuing their work-to-rule action on Sundays and plan further protests over the coming weeks unless the hospital employers shift their negotiating position. The unions have said that a new agreement would be close if the employers turn their offer of a one-off increase into a structural pay rise. The employers, however, have attempted to get works councils involved in the dispute (works councils have no collective bargaining role) and have even tried to influence how the unions present their arguments for a pay increase to their own members.
Sep. 27, 2019 Hospital unions, including FNV and NU'91 - are extremely disappointed by the latest offer from the employers in the negotiations that cover 200000 health workers. The employers offered a one-off payment in 2020 (worth around 4% of pay) and a 4% pay increase in 2021 with an additional payment for irregular work. However, at the same time they want to reduce their social contributions and workers' payments when off sick. The unions are aiming for a 5% in a 12-month agreement and want to see pay improved for all workers not just the 50% who work irregular hours. The unions are also calling for action on working time and breaks. Various actions around the country are continuing.
Sep. 12, 2019 A survey of hospital workers by the FNV health union reveals that more than four out of five think their wages and callout and standby allowances are too low and nearly three in four are thinking of leaving the health service. Again, more than four out of five see understaffing as a key issue. The FNV and NU'91 unions want to put pressure on the hospital employers to get a good collective agreement for the 200000 workers in the sector. They want a 5% pay increase and a range of other measures including on working time and rest breaks. Both unions are staging actions, including working to rule, in a series of hospitals across the country.
Aug. 22, 2019 Hospital workers have begun a series of protest actions to put pressure on the NVZ employers' organisation in difficult negotiations over a new collective agreement that covers 200000 workers. So far workers in hospitals in Amsterdam, Alkmaar, Assen and Eindhoven have taken part and the actions are set to spread. Meanwhile, workers at the Evean health and care company have won improvements in working time, notably guaranteed paid breaks and an eight-hour limit to the working day that are seen as important measures to help tackle overwork, stress and poor work-life balance.
Aug. 07, 2019 The FNV trade union has delivered 1450 cards to the directors of the Fokus disability care group to demonstrate the anger of workers over the company's failure to carry out a promised evaluation of their jobs and pay. Fokus employs around 3000 social care assistants who provide support to people with disabilities. Following a restructuring three years ago management responsibilities were cut and teams left to organise themselves. The company made a commitment to review the situation after three years. The union believes that the workers are due compensation for their extra responsibilities and wants to see the evaluation carried out as soon as possible or it will organise further action.
Jul. 24, 2019 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.
Jul. 11, 2019 The latest collective agreement covering 89000 workers in the mental health sector includes a 8.38% pay increase over 2.5 years (3% in October 2019, 3% in August 2020 and 2.1% in June 2021). Workers will also get a EUR 500 lump sum payment. The agreement includes a number of measures to address training needs and a 7% higher starting salary to attract new workers to the sector. There will also be measures to address stress-related sickness and employees who work in particularly intensive care situations will get an extra 16 hours of leave.
Jun. 21, 2019 Members of the FNV trade union voted 73% in favour of a new pensions agreement that slows down the increase in retirement age and allows for faster indexation of pensions. The retirement age will be set at 66 and four months and will rise more slowly. The agreement also takes account of the need for early retirement for arduous work and provides opportunities for the self-employed to access the scheme.
May. 28, 2019 The FNV and other unions are facing tough negotiations in both hospitals (200000 workers) and mental health (80000 workers). In the hospital sector the employers have made an unacceptable offer of a 2.5% pay rise when the unions are looking for a 5% increase as well action to protect working time and rest periods and initiatives on employee health and training to improve retention. Similarly, in mental health unions want better pay and limits on flexibility but are being confronted by employer demands to reduce working time protection and sick pay provision.
May. 16, 2019 The FNV and other trade union organisations are mobilising for a major national demonstration over pensions and retirement on 29 May. They have three key demands - to keep the current retirement age of 66 and stop the proposed increase to 67, to ensure pensions are indexed to protect against inflation for both current and future pensioners and to ensure everyone can build up a pension, whether on a permanent or temporary contract or self-employed. Transport workers across much of the country will also be taking strike action on 28 May in support of these demands.
May. 10, 2019 The FNV and other local government unions are considering strike action in order to put pressure on the VNG employers' organisation which failed to respond to the unions' 1 May deadline for a better collective bargaining offer. The unions are angry that the latest pay offer was, in fact, worse than a previous offer and that the VNG is still not proposing an increase that will ensure wages rise above the current 3% inflation level. The employers have also failed to budge on negotiating a health and wellness policy that would particularly benefit older workers.
Apr. 30, 2019 Trade unions in local government have given the VNG employers' organisation until 10am on 1 May to respond to their main demands or face action across the sector which employers 160000 workers. After six rounds of bargaining, trade unions broke off negotiations as the VNG failed to come up with any offer close to the unions' demands which include a real pay increase and measures to address workers' health and wellbeing, especially older workers.
Apr. 15, 2019 After the sixth round of bargaining the negotiations over a new collective agreement for 160000 municipal workers have stalled. The FNV public service union is now reflecting on what steps to take and whether to organise any protest action. The union is bitterly disappointed by the VNG employer organisation's refusal to consider a health and wellbeing policy for the sector and its wholly inadequate pay offer. The FNV says that the latest offer of 4.9% is less than 2.5% over the proposed two-year agreement and so below the current inflation rate of 3%.The union argues that municipal workers should get a real pay increase and benefit from the current positive state of the Dutch economy.