Feb. 03, 2020 The collective agreement covering workers providing disability care has new elements to improve work-life balance. There is an annual hours system based on a 36-hour week for a full-time worker. This alllows for flexibility to help address peaks and troughs in the service but on the basis that employers have to abide by clear rules in both the collective agreement and legislation. Workers in the sector can also now look to the collective agreement to assert their right not to be contactable during their time off. The FNV trade union sees this as an essential measure to tackle increasing stress and burnout in the sector.
Jan. 21, 2020 Employers have made a disappointing offer in the opening of negotiations covering maternity nurses with an increase of only 2.75% for 2020 on the table, along with a change to mileage allowances. In contrast, the union side has a much more ambitious range of demands including a 5% wage increase for 2020, reimbursement of all travel time, waiting shifts paid as contract hours, an increase of the end-of-year bonus from 6.2% to 8.33% and reimbursement of all training costs.
Jan. 06, 2020 A telephone hotline set up by the FNV public services union in early November was used by over 500 people, many of whom revealed disturbing information on the situation facing trainees in the care sector. There was evidence of trainees used effectively as full-time employees to cover for holidays and sickness, being required to carry out tasks on their own for which they had not been fully trained and having responsibility for other trainees and temporary workers. There were also indications of inadequate supervision and supervisors lacking time to provide adequate support. The FNV has provided information to the SBB organisation that monitors the performance of companies providing training in the sector.
Dec. 18, 2019 Following industrial action and the first ever national hospital strike, trade unions have negotiated a new 27-month collective agreement that includes a 5% pay increase from 1 January 2020 and a further 3% from 1 January 2021. Around half of hospital employees work irregular hours and they will benefit from a new allowance which will add a further 2.5% to their pay. All employees will also get a EUR 1200 pro rata lump sum. The agreement includes higher pay for trainees and measures to improve work-life balance for those working on-call and additional shifts. The unions have also managed to block employer attempts to cut sickness insurance and payments. Unions will ballot their members over the agreement.
Dec. 02, 2019 Workers in the nursing home and home care sector are covered by a new collective agreement running from 1 July 2019 to 31 August 2021. There will be a 3.5% pay rise by 1 June 2020 followed by a 3.0% increase on 1 July 2021. An increase in the end-of-year bonus has been brought forward and workers will get a full 13th month salary this year. The agreement also includes a commitment to have 90% of all employees in the sector on permanent contracts. There are other measures to allow workers to exchange pay for more time off and special measures for more time off in the lead up to retirement. The Ministry of Social Affairs will be asked to make the agreement generally binding for the sector and so covering employers that are not members of the employers' organisation that negotiated the agreement.
Nov. 21, 2019 The FNV, NU'91 and other unions representing hospital workers organised the first ever day of national industrial action in the sector on 20 November. Workers in 119 institutions took part, delivering the equivalent of a Sunday service but maintaining emergency provision. The unions are trying to put pressure on the employers to deliver a new collective agreement that addresses pay, workloads, pensions and work-life balance issues. There was also a national event in Utrecht where a petition was delivered to the head of the employers' organisation. EPSU sent a solidarity message.
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.