Fire crews return to work after deal

9th December 2005, Comments 0 comments

UPDATED 12 December 2005, AMSTERDAM — Fire crews began reporting for duty on Monday morning after a deal between municipalities and unions ended an ongoing dispute about the age at which emergency personnel can retire.

UPDATED 12 December 2005

AMSTERDAM — Fire crews began reporting for duty on Monday morning after a deal between municipalities and unions ended an ongoing dispute about the age at which emergency personnel can retire.

A spokesperson for the Fire Department said on Monday morning that stations were slowing filling up during the morning after personnel reported sick en masse last week.

As it was too early to assess how many officers were returning to active duty, Amsterdam requested that the Army continue to provide personnel to operate the fire engines.

Amsterdam's mayor Job Cohen sought the help of around 80 civilian and military personnel employed in firefighting in the army to make sure essential firefighting services in the city were maintained last week.

Ambulance crews, who joined the protest on Friday, have also abandoned their action following Sunday's deal between the employers and unions.

The industrial action, which was not supported by the trade unions, was in protest at the proposed scrapping of the Functioneel Leeftijdsontslag (FLO) in the new CAO wages and conditions agreement. The FLO, dating from the 1950s, states that firefighters may retire at 55 because of the strenuous nature of the work.

Under the proposed change, fire officers and ambulance crews would be assigned less strenuous work after 20 years of service. Many fire department personnel felt this was unacceptable, as they were worried they would be assigned to sanitation work.

The new agreement states that, in principle, personnel may remain in active service until the age they are entitled to avail of the VUT early retirement scheme. Dependant on the number of years in service, officers will be able to retire from active service by the age of 59 at the latest.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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