De Unie has negotiated a new collective labor agreement with Achmea in recent months. We have regularly informed you about the sometimes difficult progress of the negotiations. We continued negotiations on Monday, December 20, 2021. Late in the evening these negotiations resulted in a so-called 'final offer' from Achmea.
What is a final offer?
If one of the negotiating parties feels that there are no further options for further negotiation, that party makes a final offer, the so-called final offer. The negotiations are then effectively completed. Trade unions then submit this final offer to their members. The members then vote for or against the final offer.
Why a final offer?
For De Unie the outcome of the employee survey was leading in the negotiations. It is not without reason that employees have expressed themselves clearly about their wishes for the new collective labor agreement. What do they think is important? During the negotiations, it became apparent that Achmea was only partially prepared to comply. At least, that's our conclusion. We will explain this later.
When during the negotiations it appeared that an agreement in principle on the new collective labor agreement is not feasible, Achmea made a final offer. We think this is a shame and are therefore forced to inform and consult you now.
The content of the final offer
You can use here read the complete text of Achmea's final offer. The most striking matters are the pension agreement, the wage section and the working hours.
Based on the outcome of the survey, De Unie focused on both cost control (Achmea's wish) and keeping the quality of the scheme intact as much as possible (employees' wish). To this end, we were prepared to limit the costs of the scheme by 13% and to accept a small decrease in the accrual rate (about 1,75%). Unfortunately for Achmea this step – in combination with a 'normal' salary increase – was not big enough. In Achmea's final offer, the maximum pension premium is further reduced to 40%, a decrease of approximately 20%, which of course leads to an even lower accrual percentage (approximately 1,6%).
Employees have indicated that the subject 'value and reward' is the most important. That's why this has been talked about for a long time. Achmea has always made an important link with the costs of pensions. We did not agree with this, because an appropriate wage increase is necessary in any case in view of, among other things, rising inflation and the situation on the housing market.
It is good to see that Achmea is prepared to structurally increase wages by 3% in the first CLA year. This appears to be a move in line with the market, which is also expected to correspond to the currently estimated inflation.
In the second CLA year, Achmea made a surprising proposal, to say the least. In addition to a structural increase of 1% and a one-off payment of €750 gross, the climate budget has been put back on the collective labor agreement table. A one-off budget of € 2.500 net that can be spent on goals that have yet to be agreed or that can ultimately be paid into a green fund in 2025.
The difficulty in the discussion is that the climate budget can be called substantial, but that employees had precisely indicated that this budget should not replace a normal wage increase. And however you look at this proposal, that seems to be the case now…
Many comments were made in the survey about the 34-hour work week. That is why we have made an effort to continue to offer employees the opportunity to work for 36 hours and also 4×9 hours.
With regard to the former, we are pleased that Achmea has extended the transitional arrangement by one year, so that employees can decide for themselves to continue working for 36 hours during the term of the new collective labor agreement. We are less pleased with the fact that Achmea persists in abolishing the 4×9 hours. We don't think there are good arguments for this at the moment, if only because a lot of people work from home.
The survey also made many comments about the fact that the 34-hour work week has increased workload. Many employees have indicated that the released hours have not been filled either. It is therefore good that it has been indicated that the theme of work pressure will receive more attention and will become part of the MBO (employee engagement survey) and our periodic consultations.
You can read other topics in the text of the final offer. A positive aspect of this is that the 'unlimited training budget' pilot is being converted into a structural scheme and that the possibility is being created to be able to make use of the statutory exemption from the RVU scheme (Early Retirement Scheme).
It should be clear that we would have liked to have made a number of better agreements. Agreements that would ultimately tie in (even) better with the outcome of the survey. Unfortunately, due to Achmea's final offer, this was no longer possible. That's why it's your turn now. What do you think of the result?
We ask you, without voting advice, to make your opinion known. If a majority agrees with the result, then move De Unie her signature and the final offer is translated into a new collective labor agreement.
If the majority rejects the final offer, we will inform Achmea accordingly. Depending on the outcome of the consultation with fellow unions, it is not certain whether a collective labor agreement will be reached. Without a new collective labor agreement, there will be an aftereffect of the old collective labor agreement for the current employees and Achmea has indicated, among other things, that the current pension scheme will be continued (without a lower contribution, but also without indexation in connection with the absence of a wage agreement).
The members have received an invitation to vote.
In order to arrive at such a representative result, we naturally hope that everyone votes.
If you have any questions or comments, please send an e-mail to representative Huug Brinkers firstname.lastname@example.org