The staff at Catharina Hospital want a better collective labour agreement (CLA). They are, therefore, protesting today (Wednesday).
It is not a strike, but employees are running a Sunday service. The operating rooms and the intensive and medium care, endoscopy, and psychiatry departments are closed for non-urgent cases. Personnel will protest in front of the main entrance of the Eindhoven-based hospital.
The CLA negotiations for 200,000 hospital staff members have run aground. The Nederlandse Vereniging van Ziekenhuizen or NVZ (Dutch Hospitals Association), made a final offer in June, but the trade unions did not agree with it. Therefore, protests are being held via a nationwide relay action. Catharina Hospital is third in line.
One vs three years validity
The trade unions demand a wage increase of five per cent, a more comprehensive unsocial hours allowance and agreements on working hours and rest periods. They also want new personnel to be recruited and current employees to be retained. The trade unions also want to renegotiate a new collective labour agreement after a year. This, while the NVZ wants the deal to be valid for three years.
The hospitals are offering a salary increase of 3.25% this year, two per cent in 2020, and 2.5 in 2021, plus a one-off payment of EUR500 this year. Employers also want to increase the unsocial hours allowance by ten per cent.
The relay protests will continue in September if there is still no CLA. The trade unions will suspend the demonstrations in the summer. This is because there are already staff shortages at hospitals during the holidays.
Editor: Melinda Walraven