Workshop Pensions for EN speaking members and others.
The Dutch pension system can be quite difficult to understand, especially for non-Dutch persons. There are many developments, both on National level, as on the level of your own companies. We decided to organize a workshop for our non-Dutch members, to explain the system and the latest developments. The workshop is also open for interested colleagues, who are not members.
Save the date:
wednesday March 17th, 16.30 - 18.00
- please inform us if you intend to participate, we will sent you the meeting-link, firstname.lastname@example.org
- request: share this mail with your collegues, they can join too
- should you have questions or topics in advance, please forward these to email@example.com
See you at the workshop.
We have already completed our fourth MS Teams workshop, in a series on current topics. On Wednesday January 20 from 4.30 - 6.00 PM we dealt with the theme: Working from home, curse or blessing. In this Corona period, most of our members are tied to working from home. Also for the longer term (partly) working from home seems to be the work pattern. But what does this mean for you personally, for the effectiveness of your work. What is your opinion?
The workshop was a success, lots of interaction, suggestions.
The conclusions from the workshop:
- Working from home will remain a permanent aspect of our work pattern. The policy regarding employment conditions at the companies will have to be adjusted accordingly.
- Every company is working on this, some fairly proactive, others hesitant. Partly because people are still searching about what should be arranged.
- The unions play an important role here, in picking up the signals from the members, to see what is being arranged elsewhere, and to bring this into the negotiations in the works council or at the collective labor agreement table.
- The first aspects that draw attention are the ergonomic aspects of the workplace at home, where the legal frameworks are decisive, it is up to the company to make the move and the Works Council monitors this critically.
- But, during the workshop it turned out that people are mainly concerned about how the effectiveness of the work is arranged and about how contacts between colleagues and with the manager will go. How do we ensure interaction and how does the manager get a picture of the performance and career expectations of the employee. And how new employees can be trained.
- In the event of bottlenecks, the logical sequence is: discuss with the manager, put them on the agenda in the department meeting and, if necessary, raise them with the Works Council - company doctor.
- Conclusions from the survey of 55 participants:
- The vast majority work almost full-time from home, and believe that this will enable them to fulfill the role effectively.
- In addition to ergonomics and planning with partner and children, interaction with colleagues is experienced as a great loss.
Due to the very poor business prospects, the management of Fibrant announced at the end of November a major reorganization.
In total 31 jobs will be lost, employees and hires. Discussions have since taken place with the employees directly involved and a request for advice (in 2 parts) has been submitted to the Works Council.
A meeting was held on 15 December between the trade unions, the Works Council and the employer, during which the proposed measures and in particular the manner of implementation were critically discussed. A follow-up meeting is scheduled on 11 January.
Synergo is intensively involved in the discussions and negotiations, both through our representation in the works council and through our CAO negotiator. We work together with the other trade unions. Where other unions are more focused on the consequences for the production organization, Synergo specifically focusus on the professionals in “the Urmond part” of the organization.
In the CAO negotiations, Synergo has put a lot of effort to maintain the social plan as part of the Fibrant collective labor agreement. Now it becomes clear how important this commitment has been.
This underlines the importance of membership of a trade union such as Synergo and of a Synergo representation in the Works Council.
DSM, Covestro and the tradeunions Synergo, FNV, De Unie, CNV reached a negotiation result regarding a collective labour agreement (CLA) for the employees who will be transfered from DSM to Covestro. The result you can find here.
The core of the result is that the DSM Cao will continue to apply until March 31, 2022 and that the DSM social plan has a term of 5 years after the completion date.
The current social plan at DSM may run until March 31, 2023, but we have been able to extend that term. In addition, we believe that with regard to the DSM company-specific employment conditions that are not applicable under Covestro, agreements have been made with Covestro that are equivalent. The pension scheme can be continued with PDN.
The Synergo negotiating delegation consisting of Lennart Wingelaar, Henk Janssen and Casper Vaandrager presented this result with a positive advice to our members. On Thursday December 3 there was an MS Teams meeting in which the negotiation result was explained. The vote via online survey has been finished, and our members unanimously agreed with the result.
We thank the negotiating team for the result achieved: Lennart Wingelaar, Henk Janssen and Casper Vaandrager.
The MS Teams meeting on November 11 about the Brunello project (the sale to Covestro) was attended by no less than 64 people, many members but also many colleagues who were tipped off by our members. The great respons shows that it is alive, that for many an uncertain time.
During the session, the status of tghe negotiations was explained and the opportunity to ask questions and share concerns. About 24 points have been put forward and will be valuable input for the negotiators.
A minimum of three rounds of negotiations are planned: 5 - 12 - and 19 November. We keep our members informed of developments through newsletters. Depending on new information, a next MS Teams meeting will be organized by the negotiation team Casper Vaandrager, Henk Janssen and Lennart Wingelaar.
The Covestro sale affects approximately 1800 employees worldwide and about 700 in the Netherlands. And for those 700 people, things need to be properly arranged.
It is important to know that the current DSM Collective Labor Agreement remains applicable until March 2022 and the Social Plan until March 2023. The provisions in the DSM Regulations Book also remain valid until the end of the Collective Labor Agreement period. As a result, transition schemes, My Choice (including converting budget into wages or days), TOR, parental leave and pension schemes are in effect until then. For matters not regulated in the CLA, a transitional CLA will be introduced, which is currently being negotiated by DSM-Covestro and the trade unions.
For the period after 2022 there will be a new Covestro collective labor agreement, we as unions will then have to get to work again to reach good agreements.
The transition to Covestro is mainly for market technical reasons, supplementing and strengthening the Covestro portfolio. This gives courage for the future for those who pass along.
But also points of concern for DSM employees who are left behind at affected departments such as ASC / DMSC, who work via an SLA, such as IT and Purchasing. Covestro wants to achieve synergy benefits when overlapping with Covestro activities, which can also affect people. We also work for these colleagues, in negotiations or, if necessary, individual advice.
Within Synergo we will arrange a separate member-group for DSM / Covestro, in which the current members from the Zwolle, HvH and Waalwijk business, but also the members who will be transferred from support departments, in particular in Geleen. We hope that even more employees from that base will become members of Synergo-vhp.
For those transferring to Covestro, there is an MS Teams meeting in which status is explained and questions and concerns can be raised. The meeting via Teams will take place on Wednesday, November 11, from 11:00 to 12:00. Many members, but also not (yet) members have registered for this.
For the readers who are not (yet) members of Synergo-vhp, below is a brief introduction to Synergo, and our role in the negotiations.
Via this email we would like to inform you about what a trade union, in this case Synergo-vhp, can do for you.To start with, perhaps joining a union tastes different, and the more a union which also represents the interests for the non-blue collar employees.
However, luckily, in the Netherlands a white-collar union is well accepted and appreciated. High ranked managers are openly Synergo-vhp members. Synergo-vhp is a trade association for professionals from all levels within the organisation, working at DSM and companies that have emerged from it in the past.
We represent your interests, collectively through negotiations for a collective labor agreement, but also individually by providing advice on employment conditions or legal assistance. Our style: we actively seek your input, a personal approach, and communication. In negotiations we look for a good compromise, offer solid counterplay, actively enter into a dialogue with the employer.
The developments at DSM Materials are very topical, including the sale to Covestro, uncertainty at both the Business and the support departments in Geleen in particular. The role of Synergo-vhp:
- partner in the negotiations with DSM and Covestro for a transitional collective labor agreement, the switch from a DSM contract to a Covestro contract. - somewhat longer term, the switch to a specific Covestro CLA whereby the aim is to retain as many achievements as possible from the DSM period
- advice and possibly legal assistance for employees with individual questions, specifically personal situations
- by keeping in touch the local situation through local contact persons ensure that we can respond quickly to developments.
- the items which are to be arranged in the transition CAO see the message below
Do you have questions, mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
The idea is that we will negotiate a so called transfer-cla (collective labour agreement) with three parties: DSM, Covestro and the unions. One meeting is allready held and three meetings will take place in november.
In the case of this transition the rights of the employee’s are protected by law, by the DSM-CLA, specific regultations DSM (Regelingenboek) and the DSM social plan. However specific DSM-labour-conditions can not be transferred such as profit-sharing scheme or shares (options) and more. So there is a lot to negotiate about:
- The employee option scheme
- Result pay for 2020 and from 1 January 2021: profit-sharing scheme and result-based pay scheme with regard to A target
- Pension scheme / 100k scheme (new scheme effective January 1, 2021)
- Health insurance Zilveren Kruis
- Collective accident insurance
- Years of service and anniversaries
- Works council position
- Relationship trade unions Membership ODS and FSI)
- Private insurance with the DSM insurance office
- Possibility of an employment guarantee
- Welcome bonus Covestro - farewell bonus DSM
- The insured 3 years of unemployment benefit (SPAWW)
If you have any colleagues who are not (yet) union members, it is now really high time to speak to them and register, click here . Together we are strong, for good terms of employment now and in the future.
As is known, DSM intends to transfer the activities of DSM Resins & Functional Materials including Niaga (DRF), the Coatings business of DSM Advanced Solar (DAS Coatings) and DSM Additive Manufacturing (DAM) transfer to Covestro. This operation is known under the name Brunello. Covestro is in itself a stable company which is a spin-off from Bayer, they hope to be able to achieve solid synergy by acquiring these parts of DSM.
Of course, it also means a lot for the employees who still work at DSM today: in one of the DSM Companies involved, but also in the support departments that work a considerable part on commission for those parts. Synergo and the other unions will be involved in the transition.
In general, in a transfer such as this, the rights of the employee are legally protected. The Civil Code stipulates in this regard: "Due to the transfer of an undertaking, the rights and obligations arising at that time for the employer in that undertaking from an employment contract between him and an employee working there automatically transfer to the transferee."
We will soon be meeting with Covestro to discuss the terms of employment. The current DSM collective labor agreement will continue until it expires in March 2022. There are, however, a few exceptions, because these are specific to DSM, such as option schemes and the pension scheme. It is therefore important for us to arrange things in such a way that no disadvantage for the employees will arise. The DSM Social Plan applies. As mentioned, we will soon be meeting with DSM / Covestro and of course we will keep you informed.
If you have any colleagues who are not (yet) union members, it is now really high time to speak to them and register click here. Together we are strong, for good terms of employment now and in the future.
Het onderhandelingsteam van Synergo:
Casper Vaandrager, Henk Janssen en John de Graaf.
Save the date! The third MS Teams workshop in a series on current topics, on Tuesday December 15th from 4.30 - 6.00 PM we will discuss the theme: National Pension Agreement, what does this mean for me? The Pension Agreement is still a long way off for citizens, but it is getting closer, it will have a major effect on our future pensions. During the meeting you will be updated about the latest developments, which decisions still need to be made and what they mean for us, for you.
Ruud Stegers, from our umbrella organization VCP, will give an introduction, on which ideas can be exchanged. The VCP represents us in negotiations with the cabinet, employers and other unions. Ruud can therefore indicate what can be expected and in which direction the VCP wants to steer this for us. Conversely, it is important for the VCP to be fed by the opinions and viewpoints of the constituency.
Yesterday, Monday, August 30, last, we were informed about two intended reorganisations at DSM, whereby jobs will be lost.
The reorganisations are at DSM Materials (mainly R&D): 128 FTEs redundant, of which 86 will lose their jobs, and at DSM Biotechnology Center in Delft: 50 FTEs reduction. Very annoying news! As trade unions, we are surprised by the scale of the reorganisations. We are still discussing this with DSM.
There is a social plan for those involved that runs until March 31, 2023. Ofcourse, we are ready for those members who will unexpectedly be affected by these reorganisations.
These reorganisations show once again that a job offers no security. Through membership of the trade union (Synergo) we are stronger in our negotiations on collective labor agreements and Social Plans, and you receive individual assistance in the event of setbacks. Through a large representation in the Works Council, we sit at the table when assessing reorganisations. So: become a member, register via https://www.synergo-vhp.nl/organisatie/meedoen/aanbladen-lid preference If you have any questions or suggestions, mail to email@example.com
Contribution statement 2020
Active members can settle their contribution via the tax return, and thus get a partial refund. This requires a contribution statement from the union.
You can find the contribution statement via https://mijnvhp2.rfxweb.nl/Account/Login the email address known to us is your login name you have / can choose a password yourself.
This first online workshop in a series on current collective labor agreement themes was a success: a good response, many positive reactions to the online approach, but above all it gave us insight into points of view and opinions on the collective labor agreement theme "Cents or Percentages".
First, a look back at the online session via MS Teams. An online workshop has the great advantage of being accessible: no travel time, logging in from anywhere at your desk, and low costs (not unimportant for a trade union). A major disadvantage, however, is the lack of interaction, of emotion, of the informal aspect and networking. The hands and chat function of MS Teams only partly compensate for this. The advantage of the chat function, however, is that the threshold for introducing a viewpoint is low. In the current situation online is a great alternative.
- Partly a percentage and partly a nominal increase was recently agreed in a number of collective labor agreements.
- In essence, employers are often in favor of a percentage increase, partly in order to remain attractive on the labor market for professionals. But sometimes they give in to the persistent pressure of the largest trade union (FNV) supported by CNV and ABW. The power of the membership counts here.
- For production companies, there is a downside to nominal increases. The gain in wages with relatively few higher-paid positions is too small for an attractive extra increase for the other scales. Leveling sure, but at the price of crooked faces between colleagues. Short-term gain but long-term harmful.
- Minimum inflation adjustment for all salary scales.
- In practice, several factors play a role: profile of the company, what happens at other companies, and especially which points are important to Synergo as a counterbalance to the nominal pressure. So: coordination with the other unions, and good contact between the negotiators and the supporters. At the end, an (online) membership consultation determines our position.
The next workshop on November 11 has the theme "Trend to bring higher salary scales outside the collective labor agreement". Register at firstname.lastname@example.org
Following topics: 'Wage increase vs pension premium', 'Corona working from home, is it good for the company or not?', 'Sustainable employability, does this work in practice?', 'Pension agreement, what does this mean for me?', 'Reorganisations, what does it mean? this?". You will hear from us, suggestions are welcome.
Save the date, Wednesday November 11th from 4.30 - 6.00 PM a WORKSHOP via MS Teams.
We share opionions and discuss one of the current dilemmas from the collective labor agreement negotiations. The topic for November 11th: Trend to move higher salaryscales out of the CAO. What do we prefer, the transparency of the CAO or an individual contract?
Other topics we have in mind: Wage increase or higher pension contribution? ..... Higher CLA scales outside the CLA or not? ..... Corona working from home, good for business or not? .... Sustainable employability, does this work in practice? ..... Pension approved, what does this mean for me?
19 oktober: Our members have agreed in majority with the result.
12 oktoeber: The negotiations about a new Pension contract for DSM have reached a final phase. This is important not only for DSM, but also for the employees of the other companies that have placed their pensions with PDN (see below for details). Through two MS Team sessions on September 3 and 7, everyone was given the opportunity to be informed and to ask questions. Here the presentation: Pensioen_PDN_presentatie_7_sept.pptx
At the end of September, those involved (DSM employees and retired) can vote on the agreement.
We are in a deadlock, breaking point is the term of the contract. The transition period until agreement has been reached on a new scheme based on the national pension agreement. The unions stand for a maximum term of two years, and then look at the situation again, DSM wants to let the contract run until there is an agreement. As an implementing organization, PDN wants a decision from the social partners at the latest by the end of this month in order to be able to process the changes in time before the current contract expires on 1-1-2021. Use the coming weeks to see if we can still achieve a result.
For your information: Stichting Pensioenfonds DSM Nederland (PDN) is the pension fund for Koninklijke DSM N.V. (DSM) in the Netherlands. PDN is entrusted with the implementation of the pension scheme of DSM Nederland B.V. and associated and formerly associated companies. This also includes the (active and inactive) pension schemes of companies that were part of the DSM group in the past, such as Anqore, Fibrant, Centrient, OCI, Borealis and Arlanxeo. More info https://www.vdpdsm.nl/pdn SABIC and Stamicarboin have set up their own pension system and are therefore outside the PDN fund. The SABIC Pension contract expires in 2024.
July 7: The pension agreement as agreed upon by the unions - the administration and the empolyer has been presented by minister Koolmees to the Tweede Kamer. Here the contents (in Dutch). The next step is to convert the agreement into legislation and regulations. The intended entry into force is January 1, 2023 and will be included in the Pension contracts as of January 1, 2026.
July 1: Plan VCP for solution of compensation problem
The problem of compensation for the various groups is clearly presented and a solution is proposed by VCP (our umbrella union on national level). In the current proposal, it is left to the social partners per company / pension fund to arrange something for the people who will lose part of their pension rights with the new system. Furthermore, employees may encounter problems when they change jobs and / or pension funds or insurers. This problem can be solved through an equalization fund via the government, the proposal of VCP. The unions and employers are in favor, but politics are against. Hopefully there will be room to get this VCP proposal back on the table.
More detailed information (excuse, is in Dutch):
June 18: Position of VCP, "we don't say Yes, compensation gap has to be solved"
On Friday morning our umbrella union VCP has taken their position, based on the positions of the member unions, like Synergo.
The objections in more detail bezwaren toegelicht, en oplossing
June 17: Position of Synergo, "Yes, unless compensation gap will be solved"
June 17: Webinar VCP video
Vandaag heeft de VCP een webinar gehouden over de uitwerking van het Pensioenakkoord. Wij bieden u graag de gelegenheid om het webinar terug te kijken. Via onderstaande link komt u in het bericht op onze website waarin de uitzending is opgenomen:
June 16: Pension comittee advises
The Synergo Pension Committee has assessed the proposed pension agreement. Not a small task given the complexity of the matter, and the fact that many practical matters still need to be detailed. Members of the Board and the Ledenraad were also present to reach a widely supported opinion.
Summary of the main findings:
- the new pension system is an improvement, better reflects the actual results and assets of the pension fund, and the different age groups are allocated more fairly,
- the system offers scope for compensating the participants who are initially negative affected by deletion of the average system (doorsneesystematiek), the over -40s. However, this compensation must be worked out at pension fund level, in our view this offers too little guarantee that this will indeed be arranged properly. This is a major shortcoming in our opinion. The pension scheme with insurers is also not yet optimally guaranteed.
- This leads to the conclusion that we, as a committee, advise the board positively on the new system, with the proviso that a solution will be provided to compensate the groups that are affected by deletion of the average system.
June 13: Breaking news;
A negotiation result has finally been reached, the unions are going to present this to the members. The media mention about an agreement, our fellow unions FNV and CNV want to quickly present the 'agreement' to their members. The VCP acts more careful, VCP will first test the result internally against the set goals. At6 the moment, webinars and video conferences are organized, and consultation of the affiliated associations. Our members will receive a newsletter.
The basics of a new national Pension system was concluded after long discussions in mid-2019. Why, the average age is increasing. This increases the pension costs. The labor market also changes and employees change jobs more often. It is important that the pension system is in line with this. That is why the Cabinet mid 2019 has concluded a pension agreement with employee and employer organizations with agreements on pensions and AOW.
The translation to practical rules and legislation takes place in working groups in which the unions are also represented, for our target group via the VCP. The low actuarial interest rate and strict regulations however would result in a disproportionate increase in the pension contribution or a considerably lower pension perspective.
It look like they have found a way out by not basing the calculations on the actuarial interest rate, but on the anticipated return on the pension fund investments. Our pension committee follows developments closely. More details (in Dutch):
Participation in the Works Council gives personal satisfaction, provides insight into the organization and how decisions are made.
As a member you have the opportunity to raise issues about the working conditions and do something about it. Unfortunately, many employees hesitate to apply for the Works Council, because it takes (too much) time and they are (often) obliged to become members of various working groups. A dilemma can arise: it can conflict with your own job, and your manager is not always happy with it.
On national level the SER has presented a number of proposals that should make it more attractive to become a member of a Works Council. This is evident from an advice sent by the SER's Committee on the Promotion of Participation (CBM) to Minister Koolmees.
Negotiating result Cao DSM: Capitulation to FNV and shareholder! Result is at the expense of higher pay scales
The full contents of the agreement you can find here. We would like to explain and discuss the results in more detail during a webinar on wednesday the 11th of March from 12:00 untill 13:00. You will receive a separate invitation concerning this webinar. Because of the spreading of the Coronavirus there will be no physical meeting.
Message monday March 2nd:
A negotiating result was reached on a new CLA at DSM on Friday evening, February 28th. DSM presents the result as "balanced and appropriate to DSM as an employer". We absolutely disagree with this. This result is very detrimental for the higher wage scales; an important group of more than 900 employees.
More details in the Newsletter tou our members at DSM.
How to proceed?We will discuss the result with you to explain and will also answer all your questions. This will happen in the week of 9 March. You can then vote. It will be clear that we will present the result to you with a negative recommendation. With this result, an important group of professionals within DSM is being shortened.
The previous message:
A nominal versus a percentage wage increase - sharp negotiotians for a new collective labor agreement at DSM. FNV and CNV want a nominal salary increase instead of a fixed percentage, as usual in the past. A nominal increase levels a bit; brings wages closer together. Synergo-vhp find it a problem that this has a negative impact on the higher wage scales. DSM proposes an increase of 1000 euros and 2 percent as of 1 April. For an employee with a gross income of 50,000 euros, that amounts to 4 percent this year. For someone who earns 100,000 euros, it is "only" 3 percent. "Lower than the average wage increase in the Netherlands." Casper Vaandrager from Synergo-vhp finds this unacceptable and not fair for a large group; approximately one third of the DSM employees in our country. The negotiations will continue on 28 February.
Our Pension Workshop was a success - the attendees are now aware and more importantly, were able to debate with each other and experts about questions and the inevitable dilemmas. As a Synergo, it has given us more insight into the opinions of our members. Our representatives in the forums at VCP, and in negotiations with our social partners, are more prepared.
The most important findings of the workshop:
- more than 40 participants, members of Synergo but also non-members, and an excellent contribution from specialists in the subject matter,
- our members in the Delft and Emmen / Zwolle region will be updated at the beginning of 2020,
- here the presentation (excuse, is in Dutch) in which the content of the pension agreement, the dilemmas and the time schedule for the follow-up process,
- it is an agreement in principle, is further elaborated in nine working groups, Synergo is represented through our umbrella organization VCP, the working groups must be ready in the course of 2020, the parliament will have to move in 2021 and it must be introduced in 2022 .. .
- the core is the abolition of the average system “Doorsnee Sysatematiek”, the pension accrual is then no longer based on a uniform accrual for young and old as now, but on a uniform premium with a higher accrual for young people and a lower for older members. However, the transition will require large amounts to compensate for the age group of forty and older,
- many uncertainties, dilemmas, compensation for groups that are disadvantaged by the abolition of the average system,
- employers are obliged to make choices for their pension fund and draw up a transition plan,
- this is going to cost money, also due to the persistently low interest rates ... if premium increases are on the agenda, this is the time to bet on a larger wage margin. Many companies have been doing very well for a long time, shareholders are fully benefiting. It is time for employees to participate. In addition, it will also be clear to companies that something must be done about pensions (including premiums, compensation).
- an exciting and challenging period is starting for the trade unions !!!! and for the employees .....
- our Synergo Pension Committee has sufficient knowledge and experience to be able to follow national developments and to translate this into what this means for the Pension Funds of our members. We are also well represented in the VCP pension working group (via Dirk van den Bos) where we contribute our opinion and gain knowledge to be able to negotiate proactively.
The actual status of the developments on national level can be read in the newsletters of VCP: https://vcp.nl/actualiteiten/5262/3e-pensioennieuwsbrief-vcp-waken-over-inhoud-zorgvuldigheid-en-planning/
At the end of the year it is important to collect the Contribution Statement and return it to your employer.
- Ga naar de website van VHP2 https://www.vhp2.nl
- Naar de blauwe "Login Mijn VHP2", rechtsboven
- Inloggen met je mailadres en zelf gekozen wachtwoord
- Volg de aanwijzingen
- .... en controleer en wijzig meteen je lidmaatschapsgegevens ....
The method to be followed (also see imahges below):
- Go to the website of VHP2 https://www.vhp2.nl
- Go to the blue button "Login Mijn VHP2", at top right of the page,
- Login with your mailadress and password,
- and follow the instructions,
- .... and immediately check and change your membership details