Because coach drivers have to work long hours and are poorly paid, unsafe situations can arise. FNV Toer and CNV Vakmensen write this in a letter to parent and participation councils of primary and secondary schools.

“Due to the low wages, drivers are forced to make multiple journeys and breaks are skipped due to the high workload,” says FNV Toer director Lutz Kressin. “Fortunately, that has not yet led to unsafe situations, but we should not wait for that either.”

Fadua Toufik, negotiator on behalf of CNV Vakmensen, is of the same opinion. “We are concerned about the large staff shortage and high workload in the sector. This may have consequences for the safe transport of school children. We see that (legal) rest breaks are being skipped, which also directly jeopardizes the safety of drivers and all passengers. We are really concerned about that.”

Informing about working conditions According to FNV and CNV, a new collective labor agreement is urgently needed to reduce the workload and thus ensure safety. That is why the unions are sending a letter to the parent and participation councils, asking parents to inquire about the drivers’ working conditions when they book a coach. “By asking questions about this in the quotations, parents can show that they consider safe transport to be important. Moreover, they support the drivers in their fight for a better collective labor agreement”, according to Kressin.

According to the unions, coach drivers have since 2020 no longer received a pay rise. They often work fifteen hours a day and are only paid for twelve hours. “Of course, that’s not really attractive, no matter how much the drivers love the job.” Due to the low wages and high work pressure, many drivers have left the sector, which, according to the unions, causes an even higher work pressure.

Soaring rates In addition, the FNV and CNV argue that the rates of coach companies are going up sharply on the argument of increased fuel prices. “They apparently do not dare to raise the rates for a better collective agreement, while the collective agreement requirements of our members can be paid with only one euro extra per passenger per trip”, concludes Kressin.

The current collective labor agreement expired on 1 January 2020. In 2020 the unions and employers negotiated a total of seven times. According to FNV, several attempts have been made this year to reach an agreement. This eventually led to an ultimatum from the drivers to the employers in September. This demands, among other things, a wage increase of 5 percent and 100 euros gross per month. The drivers also want all services 100 to be paid per percent, working days of a maximum of twelve hours and that the contract hours be adjusted in the event of structural overtime, according to the report. the union.

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