As our supporters is getting spread out over several companies, CLA negotiations require more time and energy, than they did before. For Synergo-vhp the input from members always has been important, because we think from both sides: as well from management side as from the employees point of view. In this way we can show our specific signature. Harry Govers is doing this in an enthusiastic way. But he has retired, and has other hobbies – local politics for instance – and because it is very difficult to recruit a successor out of our own ranks, we are going to hire professional support from VHP2. So Casper Vaandrager and Therese Beurskens will take over his role in 2017. Casper was already our man in the CLA´s that have been agreed upon with OCI, Stamicarbon, Arlanxeo, and Sinochem.
Next you will find an overview of the key issues in the present negotiations. Our website contains an overview all current CLA´s.
As Casper Vaandrager in the past has been VHP2 negotiator at Philips, he is an outsider for our members. He observes many similarities, but he notices that coming from the old DSM culture, our members hang on acquired rights and former social schemes. He also notices that a strong change is being felt: a more business-like approach and more harshly. In individual support a more rigid attitude of employers is felt. The trusted social attitude has disappeared. This is experienced as unfair. But it is a matter of what one is used to feel.
Frame agreements for groups
As a response to increased flexibility of labour and individualization, employers want increasing room for individual agreements with employees. In order to support these employees, Synergo-vhp introduced a concept of frame agreements for groups. Such agreements are already available for higher management levels. Actually, this is a format that closes the gap between CLA contracts and optional packages in fringe benefits. Frame agreements apply to (optional) collective agreements per group employees with similar interests like function, pay scale, age, etc. Those agreements can be introduced as specific demands , but also as a reference in individual contract negotiations. This matters especially for EXPATS, an expanding group of employees because of the increased globalizing of companies. Especially as these negotiations always have an emotional component, one can get handhold out of these agreements. The Human Resources directors of Sabic and DSM show a positive attitude about this. Other Unions however didn´t accept this format yet. They prefer to secure as much as possible in general agreements.
Money versus social security
Research has shown that wages are less important regarding work satisfaction than for instance appreciations and approvals. Also the possibility to participate in the work process and good contacts with colleagues are very valuable. And nevertheless, young colleagues prefer to be self-supporting, they prefer after some years to get social security. For Synergo-vhp this is a leitmotif, especially when the employer struggles with weak markets and/or a weak financial position. Our approach will not be asking for maximum pay rise, but as a compensation social conditions might be improved. Other Unions and some employers will not join us on forehand. In terms of mission and vision we agree easily, but when it comes to payment, this might deadlock the negotiations.