News - July 7, 2010

Protest about collective labour agreement when academic year officially opens

The unions and the universities have broken off collective labour agreement negotiations. New agreements are in place for DLO and VHL, however.

Trade unions and the DLO foundation have agreed that DLO employees will get a one per cent increase as of 1 July 2010. The Netherlands Association of Universities of Applied Sciences and the unions have also reached an agreement in principle. VHL staff will get a 0.4 per cent increase with effect from 1 January, and in October they will get a one-off gross payment of 460 euros. There will also be extra jobs and internship positions for staff with partial occupational disability.
Employees of Wageningen University still have no new collective labour agreement. The Association of Universities in the Netherlands is sticking to a policy of no increases as the universities are not getting any more money from the Government. The unions are bargaining for a 1.25 per cent pay increase.
'Employees of municipalities, provinces, water boards and in teaching have all got pay increases. Universities have an enormous budget. You can invest in buildings and equipment, but you can also invest in staff', says Marieke van den Berg of the civil service union Abvakabo FNV.
The collective labour agreement negotiations were suspended at the end of April; they broke up again at the end of June. 'We are now going to take action', says Van den Berg. 'Our protest will be aimed at the executive boards during the official opening of the academic year.' Abvakabo's local branch in Wageningen says there will be protests here too.