In Zeeland, North Holland, Gelderland and Overijssel, the first strikes in care and student transport will be held on Friday. With this, the initiators want a better collective labor agreement for 20. enforce employees. Strike meetings are also held in Middelburg, Zutphen and Oostzaan.
To limit the impact for vulnerable passengers, only four companies are participating for the time being. The unions not only want higher wages, but also better arrangements for sickness and breaks. The union members also demand that wages should rise in line with prices from now on. That would be this year 12, be 5 percent. The employers, united in Royal Dutch Transport (KNV), previously announced their offer, adding 8 percent 2023 and still agree 4 percent in 2023, just very easy to find.
Pupils Interest in Secondary Education (LBVSO) has called on drivers in student and care transport not to go on strike during school trips or trips to daytime activities. Vulnerable children have already been severely affected by the driver shortage in the past period, said chairman of the interest group Elijah Delsink.
Parents & Education, an organization for all parents of students, finds the strikes “miserable” for the children affected and their mothers and fathers. However, the club understands the dissatisfaction among the drivers. “You can actually be happy that they sound the alarm and thus put the problems in this transport on the map,” said Lobke Vlaming of the organization last week.
04.36 hours – Nuisance Drivers are also suspending their work in Terneuzen today. The municipality has said that the strikes will cause disruption. According to them, not everyone who normally uses the Regiotaxi can therefore be transported.
“We very much regret that”, says alderman Jeroen de Buck on the website of the municipality. “But we understand the drivers. We do hope that the strike will be limited to this day. This may lead to better working conditions. That can certainly help to make more people enthusiastic about the profession of driver.”
10.28 hours – Stress Pupils Interest in Secondary Special Education (LBVSO), the advocate of students in special secondary education, has announced via Twitter that today’s strikes can have a huge impact. “Today there are spacious 10. vulnerable children in stress, fear or crying waiting to see whether or not student transport will pick them up, because the drivers are on strike and will only let you know this at the start of the shift,” writes the student representative.
However, according to Elijah Delsink, chairman of LBVSO, not all drivers are on strike. “Some chose to drive after all, because they did not want the students’ day to run into the soup,” he says to ANP. “There are even people who did double rides, they are heroes. But some strikers gave notice a few minutes in advance that the bus would not go. We are talking about students with, for example, autism, ADHD, Down’s syndrome or neurodivergent disorders. They work according to a schedule, physically or in their heads. If something throws them off course, the whole day is off the rails.”
Finally, Delsink emphasizes that he supports the striking drivers. “The salaries and working conditions are a joke, we understand why the drivers do this. We are angry with companies that refuse to pay the drivers more and give a better collective bargaining agreement, and that refuse to sit down again. And we are also angry with municipalities that always tender too cheaply. It’s up to them both. It’s not either chocolate spread or marshmallow spread, it’s duo penotti.”
12. Hours – Battle A number of drivers have also responded. In a video by FNV, which the union has published on social media, a group of drivers explains why they are giving up their work today. “We are here today because we want an affordable wage,” says one of them. “A fair wage of at least 14 euros per hour, 75 percent continued payment in case of illness and no withheld hours at the time we standing still. Otherwise, we would have worked almost a month for nothing at the end of this year. That’s what we’re fighting for.”
Henri Janssen, director of FNV Spoor/NS, agrees with these views. “Never underestimate the power of angry employees,” he wrote on Twitter. “Care transport drivers strike for a living wage and a healthy sector, so certainly also in the interest of the clients.”
11.36 hours – Strike Zutphen proceeds smoothly Rick Pellis, negotiator on behalf of CNV Vakmensen, is present at the strike in Zutphen. There, about thirty employees of taxi company TCR have stopped working. “The actions are going fairly smoothly,” Pellis told TaxiPro. “We gathered in the morning and then walked together to the town hall. We were welcomed there by the alderman, who is currently talking to four drivers about this theme.”
According to Pellis, the unions have deliberately kept the actions small, in order to cause as little nuisance as possible to the target group that uses, for example, student transport. “We realize that the impact is very large. It is very double for everyone to strike.”
Strike care and student transport in Zutphen. 000.28 hours – Necessary Nevertheless, according to the CNV negotiator, these strikes are necessary. “If they don’t, we will lose more and more drivers and there will be even more passengers who can no longer be transported. They also went on strike out of love for the sector. They can also very easily work in another sector, where they can earn much more. But they don’t do that because they really have a heart for their profession. You can also see that during the campaigns”, concludes Pellis.
12.23 hours – “Very high readiness for action” Meindert Gorter, negotiator on behalf of FNV, is present at the actions, just like Pellis. For example, he is involved in the strikes in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, where employees of taxi companies De Vlieger and Citax, among others, have given up their work. According to Gorter, a total of about 75 people are taking part in the strike. “We also walked a bit here, namely to the location of De Vlieger. There were also two councilors from the municipality of Middelburg who were present to have their say. We also entered into discussions with the management of De Vlieger.”
According to Gorter, the strikes are having the desired effect. “We are now showing that small-scale can also be big. We hope that the employers see that we mean business now. If the employers do not meet the demands we have made, then we will continue and the actions will increase. The willingness to take action within our supporters is extremely high.”
13.22 hours – Impact limited According to Royal Dutch Transport (KNV), which represents the interests of employers during collective bargaining, the strikes have a limited impact. “We have the impression that the impact is fairly limited,” said spokesperson Hilbert Michel. “Of course you notice it in some places, but we strongly believe that student transport is being spared during these strikes. In my opinion, Wmo transport is particularly affected. At least that’s what the companies tell me.”
15.23 hours – Various disturbances Transport company Munckhof has certainly noticed the impact of the strikes. Both in Zeeland and in North Holland, drivers who work for Munckhof have been asked by the trade unions to participate in the actions. “We have experienced various disruptions because a number of employees have stopped working,” spokesperson Bas de Smit said. “Those journeys were then driven by fellow drivers who are employed by us. As I understand, we didn’t leave anyone standing today.”
Although the student transport company is happy with this, De Smit hopes that an agreement will soon be reached on a new collective labor agreement. “The situation that has now arisen is not good for anyone. It is in everyone’s interest that we have a new collective labor agreement as soon as possible. This applies to travellers, parents and clients as well as drivers and planners. A solution must be found as soon as possible, but where that lies is really up to the trade unions and the KNV.”
15.20 hours – Strikes miserable for students The Parents & Education Organisation, together with LVBSO, is calling on both the trade unions (FNV and CNV Vakmensen) and the employers to get together again soon. According to the organization, the problems that currently play a role in student transport are major, there is no prospect of improvement and the problems will continue to increase this school year.
“We call on the employers in KNV and the trade unions to meet again as soon as possible and to come to a good collective labor agreement that is in line with the necessary (quality) improvement of student transport. Don’t let these children be left out in the cold and miss out on education,” writes Parents & Education on their own website.
Although both organizations say they recognize the problems of the driver shortage and the tight labor market, they are concerned about the strikes. According to them, the school attendance of various students will be put under even more pressure as a result. “The announced strikes are miserable for the students affected and their parents,” they say.
20.17 Hours – Strikes End The first strikes in care and student transport are over. CNV Vakmensen looks back on this day with satisfaction. “It is a huge step for these drivers to strike and it shows how high people’s emotions are,” says CNV negotiator Rick Pellis.
FNV director Meindert Gorter wholeheartedly agrees with Pellis. He also looks back on the strike day with satisfaction. “We had a higher turnout than expected. There were many employees who had not been to a meeting before. This is indicative of how much it is important to employees,” concludes Gorter.
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