Nieuws - 5 november 2010

5 questions about WUR labour agreements

University staff are not getting a pay rise, while DLO and VHL employees are. Labour conditions differ on many points. Here is a round-up of the questions this raises. And the answers.

1. Do WU staff not have a labour agreement now?
They do, because if a new agreement is not reached, the old one still applies. It expired on 1 March and has now been extended until 1 march 2011. So there is no collective pay rise for 2010. 

2. What will happen now?
The universities do not want to raise salaries because the government has not raised its contribution to universities either. So the VSNU [universities association] is going to the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science to ask for a bit of space. That will be difficult, because civil servants are not getting anything either.

3. DLO and VHL staff are going to be better off. Isn't that unfair?

They are, yes, but in other years DLO and VHL didn't get so much. The universities have agreed to act together in order to avoid income discrepancies between them. But institutions are free to make changes to secondary benefits. It is not clear whether Wageningen UR will do that.

4. What are the differences between the Wageningen CAOs?

They are broadly the same, but there are some differences. At DLO a fulltime working week is 36 hours, at WU it is 38 hours and at VHL staff can choose between 36, 38 or 40 hours. Another example is Good Friday: DLO staff work on that day, the university is closed and VHL staff can choose.
The legal situation is different too. WU staff have a civil service appointment and come under the general administrative law, unlike DLO staff, who have a contract agreement and come under civil law. VHL are somewhere in between the two.

5. And the salaries? They must be going to vary?
Yes, but not so much. From 1 July 2010, scale 9 at VHL ranges from 2,461 to 3,390 euros, at the university from 2,492 to 3,422, and at DLO from 2,473 to 3,530. The biggest difference is in the end-of-year bonus: at DLO this is 3.0 percent of the annual salary; at the university and VHL it is 8.3 percent.