Negotiators representing the VSNU employer organisation and employee organisations FNV, AC-FBZ, CNV Overheid and AOB have reached a negotiation settlement on the 2020 Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU). The collective bargaining parties have agreed on a general salary increase of 3.0% as of 1 June 2020. In addition, employees will receive a one-off gross lump sum payment of €750, based on full-time employment. Furthermore, the collective bargaining parties will be reserving 0.45% of the wage negotiation margin to finance any obstacles in relation to employees’ terms of employment as a result of costs incurred due to COVID-19.
The collective labour agreement takes effect from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020 and applies to over 55,000 employees in the university sector. The settlement was reached at a time of exceptional circumstances. The chief negotiators of the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) and the employee organisations, Wilma de Koning and Jan Boersma, issued the following statement: Is it precisely at a time like this that the parties are committed to realising a collective labour agreement that expresses our appreciation for the efforts and commitment of all employees.
The effects of the coronavirus pandemic have had a dramatic impact on society as a whole. The agreements that have been reached are therefore partly related to the issues arising from this crisis. At the universities, employees are working tirelessly to ensure that remote teaching and research can continue to take place as much as possible. In addition, the crisis also entails uncertainties for a number of employees.
Universities and employee organisations hope this negotiation settlement will encourage and support employees. To that end, the collective bargaining parties will be reserving 0.45% of the wage negotiation margin to finance any obstacles in relation to employees’ terms of employment as a result of costs incurred due to COVID-19. This could, for example, include the extension of the temporary employment contracts of researchers, PhD students and lecturers, and those of the support and management staff supporting them in their work.
In addition, a number of supplemental agreements have been reached:
- The Vitality Pact scheme pilot will be extended to 31 December 2021 subject to the same conditions.
- The collective labour agreement article on support and management staff mobility is to be amended so as to emphasise the importance of finding a balance for support and management staff as regards development, mobility and long-term employability.
- Based on the results of the final evaluation of the ombudsman pilot, an ombudsman will be appointed for all the universities
- A study will take place into the career prospects of young academic staff in both teaching and research, also taking into consideration the study into national funding and ‘Recognition and rewards’.
The negotiation settlement will be submitted to the various groups represented by the VSNU and employee organisations. If the outcome of these consultations is positive, the collective labour agreement will become definitive on 5 June 2020.
Please find the negotiation settlement available here.