How do we arrive at a good balance between wage increases and matters like extending leave, a generational policy or commuting expenses compensation? This question was the focus of the third consultation round for a new cao for umc employees, held on Friday afternoon, November 3, in Breukelen. On behalf of all umcs, the Netherlands Federation of University Medical Centres (NFU) is conducting the talks with the unions.

Concrete answers to this question will arise during the subsequent consultation rounds. The next meeting is planned for November 13.

Regarding wages, the NFU negotiator Gabriël Zwart said, ‘We always consider the purchasing power of our employees as important. This has led to this year’s wage increases of 4% in November in addition to the 6% at the start of the year. In 2024 purchasing power will remain a focus of discussion. At the same time we want to allot money for concrete measures that will support the vitality of our employees, in healthcare as well as research and education. It is essential that all groups of employees remain physically and mentally fit. That is in everyone’s interest. The topic leads to matters like days of leave and a generational policy.’ Fellow negotiator Karen Kruijthof added, ‘We discussed with the unions about making choices and our associated dilemmas; we can only spend our money once after all. Take for example the commuting expenses: our employees confirmed in dialogue sessions that they consider it an important topic alongside wages. The art is to arrive at a balanced package that does justice to the purchasing power and vitality while remaining affordable.’