Negotiations on a new collective labor agreement for healthcare transport and taxi resulted in a final offer from the employers on Friday. The employers have issued an ultimatum to the unions. If the unions have not responded to the final offer by Tuesday 25 October, the employers will suspend negotiations indefinitely.

Rick Pellis, negotiator of CNV Vakmensen, regrets that the negotiations had to go this way. “Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to get a good result,” he says. “As far as we are concerned, the employers are offering too little and are holding back necessary improvements.”

With the final offer, the employers show, according to CNV, that they are willing to do little to make the sector more attractive Pellis said. “We are constantly getting reports of drivers leaving the industry. It is very difficult for employers to find people, so it is also in their own interest to improve the taxi collective agreement. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to pay much attention to that.”

“With this final offer we don’t get any further”, Pellis explains. “While a better collective labor agreement is desperately needed, because many things are poorly or simply not arranged at all. No irregularity allowance. No surcharge on holidays. Low continued payment of wages in the event of illness, as a result of which a sick employee receives even less than the minimum wage.”

Tough theme According to CNV In addition, the break arrangement is a tricky subject during the negotiations. “There is a lot of concern about this among the employees. The employers seem only too happy to take advantage of unpaid breaks between different journeys. We believe that all working time should be paid. We want clear agreements about this.”

Under the current collective labor agreement, employers are allowed a maximum of 14, schedule 5% of the workday as a break. In practice, many employers do this as standard, while employees have not always enjoyed that break, according to CNV. But going back to the old scheme, as the employers now want, is not a good option, according to Pellis. Under the old scheme, the employer is allowed to give four interruptions – or breaks – but for an unlimited period of time. This has led to problems in the past, because employees sometimes stand still for four to six hours a day and therefore do not get paid. We certainly do not want to go back to that situation.”

Duration Although there are still major differences, CNV Vakmensen sees What is important is that the urgency regarding a new collective labor agreement is also felt by employers. With a wage increase of a total 11 percent, the employers seem at first sight to offer a nice wage increase for the approximately 25. employees in the taxi industry, according to the union. Only about the term do the two parties still differ.

“In percentage terms, that seems like a lot, but the employers want a term of two years. So converted we are talking about a wage increase of 6 percent per year. And that about salaries that are just above the minimum wage. So in practice it is not that much, especially given the current high inflation. Moreover, it is largely a cigar from its own box. It is not for nothing that employers want to go back to the old break arrangement. With this they partly earn back the wage increase,” concludes Rick Pellis. CNV first discusses the collective agreement final offer with its executives before deciding on further steps.

Historical offer Royal Dutch Transport (KNV), which represents the interests of employers, said last week Friday that employers feel compelled to issue an ultimatum . According to the employers’ organization there is now a ‘historically high wage offer’ on the table. “Certainly if you look at other collective labor agreements that are currently being concluded,” said negotiator Martijn Kersing at the time. “As employers, we saw that we had to focus on appreciation for our employees and on new influx of drivers. We converted that into an unprecedentedly high collective labor agreement offer. We hope the unions accept our final offer. The clarity that this offers is important for everyone. Not only for employees and entrepreneurs, but also for clients.”

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