Academic education and research

As of January 1, 2020, the AOb the interests of the members of the Vawo, the trade union for science. The academic education and research sector has two collective labor agreements: for Dutch universities and for research institutions.

Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch universities

The negotiators of the AOb, the other unions and the employers' organization VSNU reached a negotiator's agreement for a new collective labor agreement in June 2021. This collective labor agreement has a term of more than one year and runs from January 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022. The agreements apply to approximately 55 thousand university employees. Read more about the agreement reached here.

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Main points agreed

  • As of 1 July 2021, all employees will see a structural pay increase of 1,64 percent appearing on their pay slips. This will be followed by a plus of 1 percent from 2022 January 0,36. All employees also receive a one-off payment of 650 euros for a full-time job. Part-timers receive this benefit pro rata. Institutions will pay this bonus in September 2021
  • University lecturers, senior lecturers, professors and support and management staff must from now on be given a permanent contract after one year if they perform well (if they have 'proven suitability').
  • From 1 July 2023, the dismissal protection period will be reduced to ten or eleven months. The number of months depends on the number of years of service. From 1 January 2025, employees will receive six or seven months of dismissal protection. Older employees who are five years or less before their state pension age and who have been employed for fifteen years or longer will now receive one year of dismissal protection from 1 July 2023.
  • From 1 July 2021, 14 euros will be the minimum hourly wage, the six lowest salary scales will be raised with this
  • University boards must enter into discussions with the Local Consultative Body (LO) to make proper agreements about the demarcation of work and private time.
  • All employees should be given 'freely available working time' in which they decide for themselves what they can do. The LO should consider this
  • Working from home allowances have been set and will apply from September 1, 2021
  • Read the news item about this CLA with explanatory notes from AObnegotiator Donald Pechler via this link. You can download the collective labor agreement below.

Collective Labor Agreement for research institutions

The Collective Labor Agreement for Research Institutes runs from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021.

Main points of the Collective Labor Agreement for Research Institutes 2021

  • A wage increase of 1,4 percent from January 1, 2021. The wage increase will affect the pensions
  • The birth leave for partners is supplemented to 100 percent of the UWV maximum daily wage
  • The bereavement leave for employees will be extended
  • Download the entire agreement via this link. Read also the newsitem with the response of AObnegotiator Donald Pechler.

CLA agreements for training

Employees in academic education are given at least two development days a year to work on sustainable employability. These days may also be saved if a written agreement is made about this before the end of the year. Unused days without an appointment will expire at the end of the calendar year. The use of the days can be recorded in a portfolio.

The collective labor agreement of the Dutch universities states for the support and management staff (obp staff) that a 'number of appropriate development initiatives' must take place every year. A plan for this is drawn up in consultation with the employer. The employer facilitates the development process and makes sufficient money available. Working on one's own development is part of the performance and is reflected during an annual appraisal.

Have a say in the collective labor agreement

AOb members participate in discussing the collective labor agreement. This can be done through the sector council for academic education and research. Together with the sector council, the AOb negotiators are committed to collective bargaining. As soon as a negotiator agreement has been reached, it will be presented to the Dutch via regional meetings and a digital poll AObmembers. This poll is an advice to the sector council. The council assesses this and then takes a final decision.

Do you want to participate actively? Register for the sector council via board @aob. Nl 

Frequently asked Questions


  • What does the agreement offer for teachers and researchers?

    In the joint effort, the unions have made proposals to provide more security for permanent jobs for all positions. For teachers and researchers, however, this encountered great resistance from employers. Nevertheless, we have made agreements for lecturers and researchers that offer more prospects for promotion to assistant professor positions. As internal candidates, they have a priority position in the event of equal suitability.

    Current academic staff with a vidi will also get a permanent job.

    The Local Consultation will play an important role in discussing the need for a flexible layer of teachers and researchers, among others, in order to lay the foundation for limiting this. An example could be the reduction of temporary employment contracts in part-time.

  • When does the new dismissal protection period start?

    Until 1 July 2023, the current term of 13 months applies. After that, the term of 10 or 11 months applies.

    Older employees with an employment contract of 15 years and who are 5 years or less before the state pension age will receive a dismissal protection period of 1 months from 2023 July 12.
    For the other employees, the further shortening of the term will only apply from 1 January 2025.

    On the other hand, during the dismissal protection period, employees are completely exempted to find other work. Employees also receive a budget in line with the market for professional help to find other work and the mobility premium from the collective labor agreement continues to apply.

  • Who does the bottleneck arrangement apply to?

    Only assistant professors, associate professors and professors who already have a temporary employment contract are covered by the scheme. However, all the conditions stated therein must be met. It is important that if you perform structural work in the positions, you do not fall under the bottleneck scheme.

  • What are the concrete agreements about work pressure?

    The Local Consultation, which includes the unions, makes agreements about the division of working time and the monitoring of private time. In addition, agreements must be made with the Local Consultation about a realistic task assignment in relation to the scope of the employment, whereby the standards for this must be transparent, reasonable and realistic. The participation will have to take into account the agreements of the Local Consultation. This also provides a basis for the annual appraisal on an individual basis.

  • Is working from home mandatory and are the benefits net?

    Working from home is neither a right nor an obligation. Agreements are made with the employee, the team and the manager about the possibilities of working from home. The compensation of 2 euros per working day at home is equal to the compensation calculated by Nibud. This is a net fee. This also applies to the internet fee.
    Universities make agreements about the travel allowance for the days that employees work at the university. The Local Consultation makes agreements about hybrid working.