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Housing services: collective bargaining suspended

The fourth round of negotiations on Wednesday 20 March for a new Collective Labor Agreement for Housing Services did not lead to an agreement. Vakbondand would have liked to conclude a new collective labor agreement. Ultimately, however, employers turned out not to be prepared to achieve structural purchasing power retention for all corporation employees.

Negotiation process

After the previous round (on 20 February), the parties agreed to hold internal consultations about the progress of the negotiations. These consultations were intended to discuss the possibilities of a broader mandate. And to look for creative solutions to the impasse that threatened to arise. This soon became apparent at the start of the fourth round of negotiations vakbondand had conducted these internal consultations. Aedes had merely informed its policy advisory committee.

The parties were able to reach agreement on all other subjects. A longer term of the collective labor agreement was also considered. However, opinions on wage developments differed too widely. This especially against the background that a large part of the staff will have to deal with an adjustment amount.

Discussion about pay

In a supreme effort to get out the joint were vakbondand FNV, CNV Vakmensen and De Unie willing to go far. In order to reach an agreement, they set a wage requirement of 2019% for 3,75. They even expressed their willingness to spread this percentage over the year. However, employers stuck to their offer of 3% structural wage increase in 2019. For the first half of 2020, they offered 1%. In addition, they only had a few small one-off payments to forgive. “Employers will come up with a great story that a 3% wage increase is good at this time. And responsible for the corporations. But if you are faced with an adjustment amount, you only have 2% left over. Inflation is currently 2,6%. So then you can calculate yourself that you will be short of it in order to maintain your purchasing power in the longer term. ” says Janneke Waage, negotiator for the FNV. “One-off payments are then not the solution. The corporation employees have fallen behind in the increase in their pensionable wages. That is precisely because of all those one-off payments. Compared to the rest of the Netherlands, this is about 4,5% in the past ten years, ”says Janneke. “For example, temporary workers do not receive such a one-off benefit at all. And also employees with a (partial) disability benefit do not benefit from a one-off payment. The UWV creams off the amount completely. ”

Appreciation?

At the start of the negotiations, Aedes wrote in her proposal letter that she appreciated the valuable contributions that all corporation employees make every day. Employers have shown that they are aware that work is changing and is certainly not getting any easier. Vakbondand find it regrettable to note that these are fine words on paper. "What shows that appreciation if what you have to offer leads to a loss of purchasing power for a large part of your staff in the longer term?" asks Robbim Heins, negotiator on behalf of CNV Vakmensen. “Moreover, there is room for an extra wage increase. Economic growth figures are positive and optimistic. Employment is picking up sharply and there are reports of shortages on the labor market for various positions. In order to remain attractive in the competition with other sectors, a substantial structural wage increase is in order. ” Negotiator Edith Werger from De Unie adds: “As we have seen before, Aedes does not live up to his words. At the start of the negotiations, the parties expressed their intention to reach an agreement quickly. In that context, it is extremely unpleasant to conclude that Aedes has not used the past month to find solutions ”.

Vakbondand will discuss the situation that has now arisen with their members. Would you like to organize an information meeting with you in the corporation? Let us know and we will make an appointment! You can reach us by sending an email to edith.werger@unie.nl.