Road open for wage freeze

18th November 2003, Comments 0 comments

18 November 2003 , AMSTERDAM — Trade union federation FNV has officially backed the social accord reached between the Cabinet, employers and unions, paving the way for a two-year wage freeze in exchange for government concessions over planned budget cuts.

18 November 2003

AMSTERDAM — Trade union federation FNV has officially backed the social accord reached between the Cabinet, employers and unions, paving the way for a two-year wage freeze in exchange for government concessions over planned budget cuts.

FNV members were earlier asked to vote for or against the accord and the referendum result indicated two weeks ago that they were in favour of the outcome reached during the October CAO labour agreement discussions, or Najaarsoverleg.

But the referendum result did not become official until the FNV federation council — made up of representatives of the 17 FNV-affiliated unions — voiced its approval, which it did as expected on Monday. The Christian trade union federation CNV backed the accord earlier this month.

The road now lays open for a two-year wage freeze and in exchange, the government has promised to reduce planned cutbacks to WW unemployment benefits, the WAO worker disability pension scheme and medical expenses.

But negotiations continue over government plans to make the VUT and pre-pension early retirement schemes financially unattractive. Various forms of leave are also up for discussion, an NOS news report said.

In forthcoming CAO talks, the FNV is also keen to address rising medical expenses. It is hoping to draw up a contract with employers giving collective insurance for workers who are in the ziekenfonds national health insurance scheme. It said the plan would make employees EUR 300 better off.

And despite the wage freeze, the union is also keen to discuss the possibility of one-off bonuses. It said employers who thought that the social accord would yield easy workplace discussions, will be disappointed.

[Copyright Expatica News 2003]

Subject: Dutch news

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