In many collective labor agreements, agreements have recently been made whereby employees who earn relatively little receive a higher wage increase. This applies to police officers, hospital workers, and metal workers, among others.
According to the AWVN Employers Association, there are now thirty industry branches with these types of agreements. This represents more than a quarter of new collective labor agreements. “A year ago, we haven’t seen these kinds of agreements,” AWVN’s Jannes van der Velde says.
“Employers are seeing that there are problems in society because of inflation and certain groups of employees are not coming out well. Then obviously you have to do something extra by making agreements in the collective labor agreement.”
In addition to increasing the wage percentage, collective labor agreements also stipulate a minimum amount that employees must benefit from. If this amount is not achieved with an increase in the percentage of wages, the lower wage earners will get additional wages.
For example, employees caring for the disabled receive a minimum of 85 euros and employees of bicycle companies up to 100 euros.
Trade union FNV ditched the norm last year wage clause percentage and they came up with a new type of wage requirement: an extra 100 euros per worker.
The VCP is crucial to the trend towards giving lower-paid workers more. Chairman Nick van Holstein says inflation is causing more and more problems for middle-income and higher-income groups.
“They feel short of things,” says van Holstein. “These groups can also spend less and less and that has to be resolved one way or another. And we caution against that.”
Janis van der Velde of the AWVN Employers Association disagrees. “We think it’s a good development to look primarily at where the really urgent issues are emerging. It’s an excellent agreement as far as we’re concerned.”
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