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More permanent contracts, higher minimum wage and remuneration for hybrid working in Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU)

VSNU and employee organisations reach agreement on CAO NU 2021

Negotiators representing the VSNU employer organisation and employee organisations reached a negotiation settlement on 25 June 2021 on the 2021 Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU). The parties to the CAO NU 2021 have taken another step towards more permanent contracts for university employees, while also creating opportunities for hybrid working post-pandemic. In addition, there will be a structural wage increase of 1.64% as of 1 July 2021, with a further 0.36% increase as of 1 January 2022. And finally, employees will receive a one-off payment of €650 and the minimum wage for the university sector will be raised to €14 an hour. 

With this negotiation agreement, the universities are looking to create more jobs with permanent contracts. The parties to the CAO NU 2021 have agreed that assistant professors, associate professors and full professors will – in principle – receive a permanent contract after one year. If it is an initial appointment at a university, however, this will be eighteen months. Temporary academic staff who have received a Vidi grant will also receive a permanent contract. Support and management staff will receive a permanent contract after a year's employment. Marcel Nollen, Vice President of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and chief negotiator on behalf of VSNU: ‘Universities are taking a significant step towards creating more jobs with permanent contracts for both academic staff and support and management staff. This is nicely in line with the advice for the medium term recently published by employees and employers.’ Further agreements have also been reached about defining a reorganisation, which will also involve employment protection periods being brought back in length in future.


The parties to CAO NU 2021 expect that once the coronavirus measures are reduced, working from home will increase. As modern employers, the universities would like to accommodate this development. As a result, the employees have agreed that employees in the Netherlands can adopt hybrid working, if their position and their working in a team allow this. Managers, supervisors and employees will reach agreements on the possibilities for adopting hybrid working. Universities are offering staff an internet allowance of €25 per month and an allowance for working from home of €2 per day. 

The collective labour agreement takes effect from 1 January 2021 to 31 March 2022 and applies to over 55,000 employees in the university sector. The negotiation settlement is available here. The parties to CAO NU 2021 will present the negotiation agreement to the parties they represent and will attempt to reach a definitive labour agreement no later than 1 August 2021. 


VSNU, WOinActie, the student unions and the labour unions are still working towards a normal academic standard, to ensure that the students of today receive the proper education to meet the challenges of tomorrow. We call on the House of Representatives to scrap the €149 million efficiency deduction (doelmatigheidskorting). We have requested that the new cabinet make structural investments in the university sector totalling €1.1 billion, in order to raise the standard of academic education and research back to a normal academic standard.


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Ruben Puylaert


+316 13 86 10 69

Gijs Kooistra

Deputy spokesperson

+316 82 05 72 66