After eleven rounds of negotiations on a new collective agreement at the Nederlandse Spoorwegen, the union FNV leaves the members to decide whether they agree to the final offer of the railway carrier. The association itself believes that employees deserve a much broader wage increase than what the transport company offers.
FNV driver Henri Janssen says that actions to improve the collective agreement of the railway carrier have not yet been completely ruled out. If a majority of the members vote against the final offer of the NS, the trade union will provide the management with an ultimatum to come up with more. If the NS does not go into that, actions will follow.
NS offers the 16,500 employees covered by the collective agreement a salary increase of 4 percent over a period of 27 months, plus a one-off amount of 200 euros net. As the previous collective agreement expired last year, the new agreements would apply retroactively from April 2020
FNV states that this increase in wages is too small to prevent a fall in purchasing power. However, the trade union can talk about employment arrangements, which means that employees who are declared overdue during the coronaccrisis are more likely to stay in work at NS.
Janssen argues that negotiations were difficult. “They started even before the coronapandemic began. Subsequently, a cut was proposed, which 93% of our members voted against.”
Certainly of job
union CNV emphasizes precisely that with the final offer of the NS all employees will be sure of their jobs in the coming years. “Employees can, in any case, rely on the employment guarantee until 1 January 2025. There will be no question of forced dismissal,” says Ike Wiersinga.
The preservation of jobs within the public transport sector is not a matter of course during the coronacrisis. Due to the commandment on employees to work as much as possible from home, passenger numbers have fallen sharply. In June the NS announced its intention to remove 2300 jobs, but that this would be done without redundancies.