The talks between the NFU and the unions started in Utrecht today with the aim of agreeing on a new cao for employees of the university medical centres. The delegations have put forward the expressed wishes in detail.

On behalf of the NFU delegation, negotiators Karen Kruijthof and Gabriël Zwart stated that from the umcs’ viewpoint, the new cao must pay considerable attention to the employees’ input, for example addressing the problems encountered in daily work. This was the outcome of the dialogue sessions that the umcs held with their employees in preparation for this cao round. There must be more time for attention, for the patient, for the employees, for the team, education and research. Couched in those terms, concluded Zwart, the unions and the umcs agree on many points. ‘We have sometimes drifted too far apart due to a range of circumstances from the basis of the work that the employees have chosen’. Kruijthof emphasised that this is why agreements about matters like leave, rest and recovery are important, just like a policy that aims to ensure all generations of employees can keep working in a healthy way. ‘In addition, our employees expressly stated that they want a transparent cao. The current version is difficult to read, which means it is unclear what precisely was agreed and intended. So something will have to be done about that.’

In turn, the five unions involved in the negotiations announced their approach to a new cao. According to Kruijthof and Zwart, it was a constructive attitude, and the atmosphere was good. The negotiating parties agreed during this first meeting to deal with the different themes in the subsequent meetings. Next time the focus lies on the themes of vitality and generational policy. The next meeting is planned for 19 October 2023.