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Technical Wholesale: Negotiation result collective labor agreement

December 06 2022

From Monday 12 December to Sunday 18 December 2022, employees in the Technical Wholesale sector can vote on the negotiation result for their new collective labor agreement.


De Unie participated for the first time in the Collective Labor Agreement negotiations at the Technical Wholesale Trade according to the so-called DigiC process. This means that all employees have been involved to provide input for the negotiations and also that all employees have the opportunity to vote on the final result.

Given that wages have been put first by many employees in the results of the DigiC survey (6644 participants) and the current inflation development makes a wage increase urgent, the vakbondand the employers are of the opinion that an agreement must first be made quickly about the wage increase. We see this as a sensible choice under the current circumstances.

Naturally, we also find the other outcomes of the broad DigiC survey very valuable. And that is why we have agreed with the employers Technical Wholesale (WTG) that we will discuss these outcomes again in the course of the new collective labor agreement.

You can think of topics such as vitality/sustainable employability (generation scheme and the RVU facility), the exchange of terms of employment, increasing the accessibility of training and development, the readability of the collective labor agreement and the inclusion of a basic pension scheme in the collective labor agreement.

Click here for the results of the DigiC survey.
Click here for our application letter which is based on the results of the DigiC survey.
Click here for the flyer about the survey and the DigiC process
Click here for the most frequently asked questions about DigiC at the Technical Wholesale

The collective bargaining

We have negotiated four times with the WTG about the new collective labor agreement, which should take effect on October 1, 2022. In the last round of consultations on November 30, the WTG made a final collective labor agreement offer; the end result of the negotiations. You can read the full text of the negotiation result here . Click here for the English (convenient) version.

How does it look De Unie to the negotiation result 2022/2023 for the Technical Wholesale?

The judgment on the agreements made in the negotiation result naturally rests with the employees to whom this collective agreement applies. We can imagine that that judgment is not always easy if there is no or insufficient frame of reference against which you can compare the agreements made; this also applies in particular to the wage increases offered by the WTG. How do I judge this ultimate offer from the WTG and then focus on the salary increase offered? Below we will provide a number of considerations with which the wage offer of the WTG can be 'assessed'.

In the negotiation result, the WTG makes an ultimate offer of a structural increase of the salaries of a total of 5% (as of 1 January 2023 4% and as of 1 October 2023 1%) in a collective labor agreement with a term of 15 months.

  • If we compare this offer with the outcome of the DigiC survey, this offer does not meet the wish of a large majority of the respondents that the price increases should at least be compensated.
  • It should be noted that there is currently no collective agreement in the Netherlands that compensates for the high inflation rate of 14,3%.
  • As far as we are concerned, a distinction should be made between structural inflation and non-structural inflation. Why:
    • Structural inflation is inflation that persists; which is very unlikely to be compensated by future price falls or government measures. Of the inflation of 14,3%, 6% to 7% is expected to be structural. This is also referred to as 'core inflation'.
    • Non-structural inflation: of the current inflation of 14,3%, gas and electricity account for 8,2%. These prices are expected to fall again in 2023. In addition, the government is making up for a considerable part of the increased energy costs by building in an energy ceiling and adjusting tax rates and tax brackets with the aim of restoring purchasing power as much as possible before 2023.
  • With regard to compensation for inflation, we note that as a you want to compensate for structural inflation in collective agreements, you should agree on a structural wage increase of at least 6%.

The WTG offers 5% over a term of 15 months. Expressed on an annual basis (ie calculated on a 12 month basis) this is 4%.

  • The wage offer of the WTG is higher than what has been agreed on average in the other 385 collective labor agreements in the Netherlands throughout 2022: the WTG offers 4% on an annual basis against a national average of 3,3% so far.
  • A comment is in order here: this annual average was still 2022% in January 2,7, but this has now risen to 4,7% in October.

Finally: the WTG has one one-off payment of € 1.000 gross.

This benefit will be very welcome for many. Naturally, this one-off is currently making a good contribution to the current loss of purchasing power.

This € 1.000 also compensates for the disadvantage of allowing the structural increase to take effect later than on the first day of the new collective labor agreement. Because the wage increase of 4% does not take effect on October 1, 2022, but on January 1, 2023, and because the wage increase of 1% does not take effect until October 1, 2023, there is a disadvantage. With an income of, for example, € 4.000 per month, you therefore miss € 600. This one-off compensates for this loss.

Travel Expenses
In its ultimate offer, the WTG proposes to include in the collective labor agreement the obligation for employers to have a travel expenses scheme (not every company has such a scheme).

To vote

In order to vote, the employees will be approached by the independent research agency Innervoice. You will receive a message via the work address with a link to a voting form where you can then cast a vote with an explanation. You can vote until 18 December 2022.

Click here for our sector page Technical Wholesale.

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