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The collective labor agreement that is currently in place has not yet been declared generally binding.

Employers in healthcare and student transport have until Friday 17 February to avert a two-day national strike. Last November, the trade union FNV issued an ultimatum to employers on behalf of its members about a new collective labor agreement. Wages are low in the sector, sick days and waiting times are not paid and the risk of trip cancellation is placed on the employees by cutting wages in such a case. 

“All in all, a medieval collective labor agreement. People hardly make ends meet on low wages, especially in these expensive times. On top of that, they are also cut from all sides. The collective labor agreement must improve, otherwise things will remain unsettled, I'm afraid," says Gorter. The question is whether striking still makes sense now that CNV has signed? According to FNV yes. The collective labor agreement that is currently in place has not yet been declared generally binding. In addition, FNV has not signed. As a result, they are free to take action for an even better collective labor agreement. With this action, FNV will increase the pressure so that they can make new agreements. 

"Employers still have not met the requirements of that ultimatum, but in the meantime they have concluded a very mediocre collective agreement with other unions. Our members do not accept that and continue with actions until a decent collective agreement is in place."

The fact that the drivers may feel compelled to go on strike does not bother her. Gorter: 'These drivers take people from A to B who depend on that transport. So if there is a strike, those people have nowhere to go. The drivers are well aware of this. The fact that they are willing to do so says a lot. For that reason alone, the employees hope that a fair collective labor agreement will soon be in place, so that they can get back to doing what they do best, namely transporting passengers.'

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Meindert Gorter - union director FNV Taxi

Pupil interest Secondary Special Education is not happy with the announced strikes, to say the least. “We get the feeling that our misery is being lifted. Since our campaign about mismanagement of student transport, where vulnerable children are the victims, there are suddenly strikes! It's done soon, we're broken and mental damage and lesson backlog can't be fixed anymore!"

February 17 and 18

If employers fail to meet workers' demands, there will be a nationwide strike on Friday, February 17 and Saturday, February 18. A Saturday has been chosen, because that way fewer passengers will be inconvenienced. 22.000 people work in the sector, mainly with a part-time contract of an average of 20 hours per week. The previous collective labor agreement expired on December 31, 2022. Negotiations for this started in May last year.

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Bertho Eckhardt
Bertho Eckhardt - chairman KNV and Bus transport Netherlands

According to Bertho Eckhardt, repeating points and hindering the transport of vulnerable groups is now only counterproductive. Ultimately, the agreement provides for an above-average wage increase compared to other sectors in the Netherlands. “This end result does justice to both the interests of employees and employers,” says Eckhardt.

"Staking is a right and I do not dispute that, but I do question a strike when there is a collective agreement. Hopefully FNV will also come on board."

KNV Care Transport and Taxi calls on FNV to stop organizing strikes in student and care transport. The strikes are counterproductive, damage the image of the industry and cause stress and inconvenience to vulnerable travelers who use healthcare transport. Nationally, less than 2% of the workforce went on strike during the previous strikes. The consequences of the strike were therefore not too bad, although there were regional differences. Due to good communication with clients and users, the nuisance could often be kept to a minimum.

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