On-call workers also want the bonus that permanent employees get

Permanent employees at the UG received a bonus of 800 to 1,200 euros as salary compensation for the past months. This does not apply to on-call workers who sometimes work the same number of hours. ‘Painful’, says FNV spokesperson Maarten Goldberg.

At the end of June, the Dutch universities made new collective labour agreement arrangements with the unions. It included a 9 percent salary increase, which went into effect on August 1.

However, in actuality the collective labour agreement started retroactively on April 1 of this year. To compensate employees for the months without a salary increase, they received a one-time bonus. This amounts to 800 to 1,200 euros gross, depending on the employee’s salary scale.

Same work

On-call workers did get the salary increase starting on August 1, but they didn’t get the bonus. Leon Olive and Celio Oviedo feel this is unfair. They both work as on-call workers behind the front desks of UG buildings in the city centre, along with at least eight other on-call colleagues.

‘We do exactly the same as our colleagues in permanent positions’, says Oviedo, who often works more than thirty hours a week, only twenty-four of which he gets paid. ‘We often have to be more flexible than permanent employees. You are left empty-handed when your shift is suddenly taken away.’


Union spokesperson Maarten Goldberg calls the choice to exclude on-call workers from the bonus ‘fairly standard’. He was part of a national work group that discussed the collective labour agreement agreements, meaning he was indirectly invovled in it. ‘Some on-call employees on work four hours a week. It would be disproportionate to give them a large bonus.’

He admits that the situation is unfair for people who work more than thirty hours a week. ‘Ideally, you would want people who work a lot to receive the bonus. One solution for that is to hire support staff, like the ones behind the front desks, in permanent positions. You are also losing out on professionalism when you employ temporary staff.’

The university refers to the collective labour agreement itself. Spokesperson Elies Wempe-Kouwenhoven emphasises that this is a collective agreement, which the UG established in consultation with other universities.


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