Youth Care Netherlands and the trade unions FNV, CNV and FBZ have reached an agreement on a new collective labor agreement. That made the trade organization announced on Tuesday. Part of the agreement is a 9.25 percent wage increase for youth care workers from 2024. The following year, wages will increase by another three percent and inflation compensation will also be applied. Previously, a proposal from Youth Care Netherlands was rejected, causing negotiations to be halted.
The parties have also agreed to both reduce the workload in the sector and increase safety in the workplace. The collective labor agreement, which covers around 33,000 people, contains a system that must ensure that healthcare workers stay within their hours. A virtual ‘red button’ is an emergency solution if the workload becomes too great or safety is compromised.
Maaike van der Aar, FNV director responsible for Youth Care, speaks of a “historic collective labor agreement”, it says in a statement from the union. “If employers had not taken that signal seriously, something would probably have been irreparably damaged in labor relations.” The unions had threatened action during the negotiation process, such as a large demonstration on November 20 in Utrecht. However, the actions were postponed to allow further negotiations. It will become clear in mid-December whether the members of the trade association and the unions agree to the new agreements, which will apply for two years.
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