Dutch hospital employees agree to 8% pay increase affecting 200,000 staff

Image credit: FNV

Members of the Dutch trade union FNV have agreed to a pay deal reached on December 2019 for 200,000 employees working in hospitals covered by the country’s collective labour agreement (CLA).

Employees covered by the CLA will receive a total pay increase of 8% over 27 months. In addition, to help obtain a better work-life balance, they will recieve additional recovery time after on-call duty, extending from six to eight hours. During employee illness, pay will now be supplemented at 100%, where before this figure was 90%.

Higher salaries have also been agreed for students and trainees. In addition, all hospital employees will receive a one-off gross payment of €1,200 (£1021.47) in January 2020.

FNV was the largest trade union involved in the negotiations; 88% of its members voted yes to the new collective agreement. The agreement follows a series of strikes, including the Netherlands first ever national hospital strike on 20 November 2019.

Elise Merlijn, director at FNV, said: “We thought it was important that the hospital staff who had been campaigning for months for this collective agreement could agree with the end result. They have now voted in favour of this agreement with a loud and clear ‘yes’. Full of confidence I will put my signature on behalf of the FNV and the new agreements will be a fact.

“In addition, I do not close my eyes to people who are not positive. We will take these responses to subsequent negotiations. Because this great result is a start, but we are not there yet.

“The working conditions and wage development of hospital employees must be placed much higher on the agenda among hospital employers. Not only during collective bargaining but always. And that is important not only for them but for everyone in the Netherlands. Otherwise, the care will run empty and the Netherlands will be much farther from home.”

The government of the Netherlands was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.