Employers’ organizations BK and BMK are surprised at ‘the sudden ultimatum’ from the trade union FNV with which they were confronted during the collective labor agreement negotiations. The FNV threatens strikes, while BK and BMK believe that they have made a good proposal given the circumstances, certainly in comparison with other collective agreements.
The FNV’s ultimatum came shortly after a regular consultation between CNV and FNV, BK and BMK, at which the employers indicated that they were ‘somewhat surprised’ about this ‘sudden’ action by the FNV. ‘Especially because the different positions of all parties are not yet completely clear regarding the final offer.’
BK and BMK ‘are convinced that they have made a good final offer that does justice to the situation in the sector and the wishes of employees.’ According to the employers, the final offer is ‘an excellent wage offer, especially if you compare it with other collective labor agreements in the Netherlands.’
Above the national average
According to the employers, the wage increase in childcare is ‘well above the national average’, just as it has been in the past 5 years. BK and BMK offer employees a wage increase of 3% ‘plus a one-off payment of 0.5% as a token of appreciation for their commitment in recent times.’
This proposal is in line with what the trade union CNV demands, but is lower than the demand of the FNV, which demands a 5% wage increase for a year. The wage offer of the employers is for 1.5.
The FNV’s requirement is too high because salaries in childcare have increased by 13.5% since 2017, according to BK and BMK. ‘That is 4.5% higher than the average in the Netherlands. The employers’ offer of 3% structural and 0.5% one-off is again above average.’
The proposal from BK and BMK also includes:
- The number of non-group hours will be increased from 46 to 50 hours. This gives more time to perform extra tasks that are in addition to the tasks that are already there, outside the group.
- The Annual Hours System (JUS) will be adapted for all-day care. This means that half the plus and minus hours can be created for the employees.
- The availability day is replaced by agreements about an ‘extra schedule day’. This can be used in consultation with the employer.
- The right to special leave will be described in the collective labor agreement in such a way that it is no longer possible to discuss this. There will also be an addition that there is the right to be free in the event of special events in the private sphere if the employee so requests.
- For all employees whose partner gives birth, the salary is supplemented to 100% during the statutory additional birth leave.
- The use of the life-stage budget is being expanded. The employee can also use this for training.
- Job differentiation is better described in the collective labor agreement, so that it is clear to the employee which scale applies and which activities belong to it.
- There will be a best efforts obligation for the employer to allow three consecutive weeks of vacation.
Reducing ‘work pressure experience’
In addition, the employers have made proposals to reduce the ‘work pressure perception’. This includes increasing the non-group hours, the ‘Fun in progress’ project to achieve a better balance between work and private life, and the ‘Schedule systems’ project for more influence on one’s own working and free days. The BK and BMK, together with the employees, also want to discuss the regulatory burden and the protocols that increase workload with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment and the GGDs.