The rank and file members of the unions have voted in favour of the new labour agreement for university staff. This agreement represents an interim stage in the negotiations, says union Abvakabo FNV.
University staff can expect a one-off bonus of 500 euros (gross) this month. Whether they will get a pay rise next year is still hanging in the balance. The unions are going to resume negotiations on this with the universities association VSNU.
An earlier arbitration agreement laid down that staff would receive a pay rise of 0.5 percent in February, but university managements have rejected that compromise.
It was therefore by no means certain how things would work out, now that the rank and file members of the unions were asked to vote once again. But they have voted in favour by a clear majority of 72 percent, reports Abvakabo FNV leader Marieke van den Berg.
The new labour agreement runs until 1 January 2011. Next year, according to Van den Berg, the unions will demand a pay rise higher than the 0.5 percent previously offered by the universities. 'It is not acceptable to use staff pay to balance the budget', she says.
Meanwhile, the FNV unions are aiming for a two percent pay rise for 2011. The unions will have to decide together with their members whether this demand applies to university staff as well.