Civil servants agree pay deal
1 September 2005, AMSTERDAM — Mass strikes planned by local government workers have been shelved, it was reported on Thursday.
1 September 2005
AMSTERDAM — Mass strikes planned by local government workers have been shelved, it was reported on Thursday.
Trade unions and municipalities in the Netherlands have agreed a new pay and labour conditions agreement — known as a CAO — for 190,000 local government staff.
Negotiations are to continue in relation to early retirement provisions, union Abvakabo FNV said on Thursday.
Life was disrupted in the big cities before the summer when local government workers took industrial action to force municipalities to meet their demands.
"A long period of industrial action was not for nothing. This deal would not have been reached but for those actions, " ABVAKABO FNV negotiator Peter Wiechmann said.
Under the deal announced on Thursday, local government staff will receive a 1 percent increase in wages backdated to 1 June this year.
Municipalities will also make an additional health insurance contribution — both for the basic insurance package being introduced on 1 January 2006 and for supplementary coverage.
A decision on the special early retirement system for fire brigade and ambulance personnel has been postponed.
This issue has proved to be the hottest potato in the CAO negotiations. The government wants fire officers and ambulance staff to work longer but the unions insist the work done by these civil servants is so demanding they should be allowed to retire early.
Both sides have agreed a deadline of 1 December for the ongoing talks on the issue. An external mediator will be called in if there is no deal by that date.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news