CLA Dutch Railways 2015 – 2017

2015 – June 2015 the Dutch Railways (Nederlandse Spoorwegen, NS) and the trade unions: FNV Spoor, CNV Vakmensen and VHS reached a new collective labour agreement. The duration is from May 1, 2015 to September 30, 2017. The old collective agreement ran from 2013 to 2015. The real negotiations lasted only (!) 28 hours because they were preceded by a careful process.

Preparing the new collective agreement
In February 2015 the parties met at a launch conference. Here was shaped the intention not to start the negotiations from an adversarial perspective but from a positive intention to build an attractive future for the company and its staff. The collective agreement must contain simple arrangements based on trust rather than on control.
Also the CLA platform, set in 2013 played a constructive role in the preparation. (The CLA platform  is an online tool that the employer together with all parties can use to involve as much employees as possible in the negotiations.) The CLA platform played a role in the staff consultation in advance and led to several ‘positive’ outcomes.

Innovative arrangements
Forced redundancies are avoided as much as possible, provided that employees are flexible. (The unions call this a ‘job security guarantee’ until January 2019).
In principle structural work will be carried out by permanent employees. Hiring is permitted for temporary work or projects. This agreement will be monitored in the periodical meetings of  NS and unions.
After experiments agreed in the CLA 2013 -2015, a “phased" introduction will follow of output-related employment conditions for the non-grid-related personnel. They can already work elsewhere or at irregular times, after consulting with their supervisors.
The collective employability measures (additional days off for seniors and relief from night work) for office workers are converted to custom made employment conditions. For grid-bound employees these measure will be maintained. (By the employer this is seen as provisional, the unions present this appointment as a victory.)

In a new Social Plan the rules on the relocation process as well as the revaluation of functions are laid down. The focus will be placed here on the premobility phase. There will be a Job Promotion Fund that will encourage and support “lifelong learning".
There is going to be a platform Sustainable Employability in which the NS together with the unions and Works Council will develop vision and principles. In this frame the unions propose among other things: flex pools, each three years a career interview and mentoring. And they call for simulations with a new grid system: the ‘short-cycle forward rotating grid’ that is based on research, considered better for health than the current system.
NS will create 200 permanent jobs (and adjust them if necessary) for people with disabilities. And there will be five internships for refugees with higher education. 


Attached are the following documents (in Dutch)

* De cao-NS 2015 – 2017

* Het resultaat op hoofdlijnen

* Werkgeven-2015-3-Artikel NS