Biggest increase in Dutch collective agreement wages in nine years

Biggest increase in Dutch collective agreement wages in nine years

If you are working in the Netherlands at a company with a collective labour agreement (CLA), we’ve got some good news! According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), in the last quarter, Q3 of 2018, the increase in CLA wages was the biggest in nine years. Wages increased by 2,2 percent, whilst consumer prices only went up by 2 percent.

Higher wages in the Netherlands

The increase in CLA wages in Q3 2018 was significantly higher than the peak in 2016, which came in at 2 percent. On average, in 2016, wages increased by 1,8 percent, a lower average than the current average for 2018. However, in 2016, consumer prices increased at a much lower rate than they have this year.

Looking at the governmental, private companies and subsidised sector, wages rose the most in the governmental sector. This particular sector saw an increase of 2,9 percent in Q3. This greatly contrasts the meagre increase of 0,6 percent in 2017. In the private companies sector, wages increased by 2,1 percent and in the subsidised sector this figure was 1,5 percent.

Salaries in the education sector on the rise

At a line of business level, wages in the education sector rose the most, with an increase of 3,2 percent. This is predominantly due to agreements, which have been made in the larger accords. What’s more, for those working as teachers in primary education, the difference between their salary and the salary of a secondary school teacher has been reduced.

The preliminary figures for Q3 2018 are based on 86 percent of the CLAs from which the statistics are calculated. For some business sectors, CLA wage developments are not yet known, as new labour agreements have not been made.

Dutch union pleased

The Dutch union FNV calls the increase of wages a “positive development”, but feel that wages could be increased even further, especially when you take into account the current economy and tightness of the labour market.

FNV also points out that there are a large number of employees with flexible contracts that do not fall under such collective labour agreements. As such, they are in a weaker negotiating position and employers can more easily reduce wage increases in their employment contracts.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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