The wages of hospital staff are going to rise by at least 8 percent, reports FNV Zorg & Welzijn on Saturday morning in a press release. Trade unions have reached a negotiating agreement with the Dutch Association of Hospitals (NVZ) for a new collective labor agreement. Hospital staff campaigned for months for better working conditions.

The agreement also includes agreements about rest periods, allowances when someone is suddenly called up and agreements about early retirement. FNV says it will only sign the agreement when the hospital staff agree on the new agreements.

The wage increase of a total of 8 percent takes place in two steps: from January 1, 2020, wages increase by 5 percent, and a year later by another 3 percent.

Staff with an irregular schedule - according to FNV half of all hospital staff - receive a higher irregularity allowance.

Pupils and trainees are also improving. Apprentice salaries increase by 10 percent and the internship allowance increases by an additional 65 euros per month to 400 euros in total. Co-assistants, medical students who gain practical experience in a hospital, also receive an internship and travel allowance.

The new collective agreement applies to 200,000 people. The previous employment contract expired on March 31, 2019. In recent months, hospital employees have been campaigning for better working conditions.

On November 20, "the largest healthcare strike ever" took place and 150,000 healthcare workers laid down work at 199 locations across the country. For 24 hours, many people who did not need urgent help were sent home.

See also: Conflict in health care: the trade unions demand this with 'the biggest care strike ever'