Collectively agreed wages rose by an average of 7 percent in February, ‘unprecedented since the 1970s’

Collective labor agreement wage agreements rose by an average of 7 percent in February. That is a new record, employers’ association AWVN reports on Monday in the monthly collective labor agreement message. Wage settlements have been going up since early 2021 and have taken off since 2022, due to rising inflation and the subsequent demand for purchasing power recovery. According to AWVN, current levels of wage settlements have not been seen since the 1970s.

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Sixteen collective labor agreements were concluded in February of this year, slightly less than the twenty in previous years. According to AWVN, this is because a larger number of collective agreements were concluded in 2022 and fewer collective agreements need to be renewed. There is therefore no question of a stagnation in the pace at which new collective agreements are made.

At the same time, the tone in the collective labor agreement negotiations has become ‘harder’, the employers’ organization sees. Trade unions regularly threaten to take action. For the time being, actual actions and strikes are mainly limited to collective agreements that depend on government finances, such as municipal officials, public transport and healthcare. In total, more than four hundred thousand people are covered by these collective agreements.

Also this week, actions are planned in various sectors to enforce a better collective labor agreement. On Tuesday, ING staff will stop working for two hours after an ultimatum has expired, trade unions FNV, CNV and De Unie reported on Monday. On Wednesday it will be the turn of regional transport, after which hospital staff will start a 24-hour strike on Thursday. During this period, the hospitals work according to the Sunday schedule. Emergency care will continue.

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