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.
Mar. 27, 2019 The FNV trade union reports that negotiations covering the municipal sector have some way to go as the two sides remain quite far apart. The employers have effectively made two offers - one focuses more on paid leave while the other focuses on pay. The first fails to acknowledge the FNV's demands for a policy on wellbeing while offering little on pay while the second also lacked a wellbeing policy, threatened to reduce leave and its 4.55% pay offer is also well below the union target. The FNV wants a 7.55% increase over two years, 0.8% of which is part of the personal budget that employees can use to exchange for other benefits. The union also wants a wellbeing policy covering all ages that would include, for example, the scope for reduced hours for older workers.
Mar. 14, 2019 The FNV has criticised the hospital employers for making a completely unacceptable offer in the run up to negotiations on 19 March. There is so far only an indication of a "competitive" pay rise and otherwise proposals to worsen the current agreement, particularly with a threat of cutting employer contributions to medical expenses. The union is calling for a 5% pay increase and additional pay for irregular working hours. It also wants increased compensation for travel expenses, an increased allowance for interns, measures to reduce workloads and improvements to work-life balance. The FNV argues that action on workloads is urgent to make the sector more attractive to new workers and a good agreement is key to reducing the number of self-employed in hospitals.
Feb. 27, 2019 After four rounds of bargaining the VNG local government employers' organisation has come up with a first offer of a 2.5% pay increase over a 15-month period. For the FNV trade union this is effectively a 2% increase over 12 months and provides no real wage increase. The union will be pushing for something closer to its claims for a 5% pay rise over 12 months. It is relatively positive about the negotiations, noting that it is also discussing a range of other issues with employers including ensuring healthy and sustainable workplaces and job security.
Feb. 13, 2019 Negotiations covering workers in provincial government have been suspended after unions reacted with disappointment to the employers' latest pay offer of 6% over 24 months. The unions say that after several years of moderate pay increases, workers deserve higher pay and a share of growth in the economy. The unions are aiming for a 7.25% increase over two years and argue that the employers should acknowledge the work that the unions have done in relation to a revised job structure and harmonisation of allowances.
Jan. 29, 2019 The main FNV trade union is linking up with the CNV and VCP confederations to launch a cross-sector campaign on pensions. The plan is for workplace meetings across the country in the lead up to a national demonstration on 18 March. The unions want to see a freeze in pension age and no automatic link to increases in life expectancy. They are also calling for indexation to protect pensions from erosion by inflation and rules to ensure that all workers can build up pension entitlement to protect freelancers and those on precarious contracts, particularly younger workers.
Jan. 17, 2019 The FNV public services trade union organised a demonstration by youth workers in The Hague on 14 January to protest at the government's failure to tackle serious problems in the sector which are leading to long waiting times for young people to get support and a staff shortage as many workers leave the sector because of the pay and working conditions. The union is calling for EUR 750 million extra funding for the sector and an end to the competitive tendering system which has led to undercutting of contracts, driving prices down and forcing cost cutting across the sector.
Nov. 30, 2018 Negotiations over a new collective agreement to cover energy network companies have yet to make progress 10 months after they first got underway. A trade union demonstration outside the venue for the negotiations highlighted the main demands for a 3.5% pay increase, measures to reduce temporary work and other excessive flexible working and an initiative on sustainable working time. The working time initiative is aimed at older workers and would offer them the chance to work 80% of their normal hours for 90% of normal pay while protecting 100% of their pension entitlement.
Nov. 22, 2018 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.
Nov. 08, 2018 Members of the FNV union in the ambulance service have restarted their work-to-rule industrial action. The action had been suspended to allow for further negotiations but the employers then broke off negotiations and withdrew an earlier pay offer. The FNV is calling for urgent action to address staffing shortages. It is aiming for a 7.5% pay increase in 2018 and 3.5% in 2019 which it says are needed to keep ambulance pay in line with other parts of the health service. The union says that employers should fund higher pay rather than spending money on recruiting agency workers to cover understaffing.
Oct. 10, 2018 The industrial action by ambulance staff has been extended to more regions as members of the FNV continue their campaign to secure improvements in the collective agreement to deal with overwork, understaffing and to increase pay. The action began across seven regions on 24 September and consists of a work-to-rule with ambulance workers refusing overtime and sticking rigidly to their breaks and normal working time. Workers in a further four regions have now joined the action which the union plans to extend, with the possibility also of work stoppages, unless the employers agree to negotiate.
Sep. 13, 2018 The latest stage of the long-running conflict between the FNV trade union and the ambulance service will see ambulance employees working to rule from 8am on 24 September. This means that workers will stick strictly to the collective agreement and so there will be no overtime, all breaks will be taken and no additional tasks will be taken on. The union has set out demands for higher pay and action to reduce workloads but the employers failed to respond to these by the union's 29 August deadline. The FNV argues strongly that the sector faces a major staffing problem and that action on pay and working conditions is urgently needed to improve recruitment and retention.
Aug. 30, 2018 Workers at University Medical Centres (UMC) are involved in a series of actions to push for a new collective agreement, including a 3.5% pay increase and measures to reduce excessive workloads. Negotiations have been stalled since the end of May and members of the FNV and NU'91 unions have organised demonstrations and worked-to-rule to underline the strength of feeling to employers. The UMC agreement covers 60000 workers. Meanwhile, youth care workers have also been active over excessive workloads and outsourcing. Around 2500 youth care workers are expected for a national demonstration on 3 September. The workers, members of the FNV, are calling for an extra EUR 750 million for the sector - EUR 450m to compensate for previous cuts and EUR 300 million to deal with increased demand. Youth care workers say it is increasingly difficult to deliver a proper service to young people and their families.
Aug. 17, 2018 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.