During the KVGO digital VA, Reinier de Koning, first negotiator of the employers’ delegation, gave an overview of the collective labor agreement process so far. He took the opportunity to call on KVGO members to continue to follow him with attention and interest.
The employers’ delegation began to collect the net from the supporters in mid-September. A meeting was organized in Amersfoort for this purpose, which provided very useful information. The delegation then turned this into a letter of proposal. In the meantime, an informal meeting with the unions took place. It wasn’t just about getting to know the new negotiator for De Unie, but also finding out what they might find important.
First formal session with unions: exchange of letters of proposal
The first collective labor agreement meeting took place on November 30 and was completely digital. During these consultations, the unions had ample opportunity to explain their point of view and to propose amendments to the collective labor agreement. Employers, in turn, took the time to give their point of view. “It’s very useful for mutual understanding to discuss it in this way,” says Reinier de Koning.
The employer’s point of view
As the title of our letter of proposal indicates, we are in the midst of a recovery phase as far as employers are concerned. Many graphics companies survived the recent crisis, but the question is how. Regulations such as NOW, TVL and tax deferrals provided financial reach. If the loss of turnover was not severe enough, the NOW should be partially refunded and taxes should also be paid. Companies are therefore in debt. In addition, due to disruptions in the production and distribution chain, the material has become – considerably – more expensive and it is certainly not always possible to pass it on. This results in a loss of margin. Turnover seems to be on the rise again, but is still far from the level of 2019. Then there is also inflation, partly due to the increase in energy prices. So there is little room for wage growth.
Important topics also include staff training and retention, health and vitality.
The household book
During the consultation on November 30, it became clear that employers and employees have one thing in common: the logbook is under pressure. What applies to employees also applies to employers. Reinier de Koning: “We understand that inflation means you can buy less for your money, as does wage growth, which was limited in 2021. However, as employers, we will not be able to solve this problem. What has also become clear is that employers and unions are looking at the way forward for the recovery differently. The distance is great and it will not be easy. “If we can continue to have well-founded and respectful conversations with each other, I have confidence in a good end result,” concluded Reinier de Koning.
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