Collective agreement universities: pay increase and solidarity All university employees will receive a structural pay increase of 3 percent and a one-off bonus. The new collective agreement also looks after the interests of employees with a temporary contract, for whom the coronavirus crisis has caused uncertain times. 12 mei 2020 • TEKST webredactie Today, the General Union of Education (AOb), the other unions and the employers’ organization VSNU, present their arrangements made for the new collective agreement for universities, which runs from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020. The agreement covers roughly 55 thousand employees. An important aspect of the negotiations were the temporary contracts of some employees, for instance doctoral candidates, researchers and lecturers who cannot continue their research because of the coronavirus crisis, and therefore have been kept in the dark. At an earlier stage AOb had drawn the attention to this situation. “Arrangements should be made in the short term for these people,” says Donald Pechler, negotiator for the AOb. “That is what we are setting money aside for in this collective agreement.” For the problems originating from the coronavirus crisis regarding the terms of employment, 0.45 percent of the available margin for pay increase has been set aside. Universities can use this money for measures such as extending temporary contracts. The negotiators will make specific arrangements regarding the expenditure of the money in the upcoming weeks. Pechler added: “At present young researchers find it hard that they do not to know whether they will be able to finish their research. Together with the employers, we will look at ways to make this work, both financially and legally; it may not be possible to extend in any case, but it would be an enormous capital destruction if research could not be completed.” ‘It would be an enormous capital destruction if research could not be completed’ All employees will receive a structural pay increase of 3 percent per 1 June 2020. In that month, the universities will likewise pay out the one-off benefit amounting to 750 euros in gross. University employees will receive a one-off bonus amounting to 750 euros gross for a full-time job, in June 2020 Other arrangements Moreover, the unions and employers have agreed to extend the ‘regulation vitality pact’ – an experiment to keep employees at work until the retirement age – to 31 December 2021. Employees who have five years left until the state pension age, are given the possibility to work less. Another arrangement the employers and employees agreed on is an ombuds function at all universities. As well as research into the career perspectives of young scholars. Consulting colleagues Both VSNU and the unions will submit the settlement to their members. If they agree with the arrangements, the new collective agreement will be definitive on June 5. The Sector Council of the AOb will discuss the arrangements this month. The members of the AOb will receive an email inviting them to comment on the agreement. The negotiators will hold a webinar for members who still have questions. Curious about all the arrangements? Download the negotiated agreement.