Employers and unions representing nurses in the mental health sector are poised for a head-on collision over pay, the Volkskrant reports on Thursday.
The paper says employers want a pay freeze for nursing staff while the unions are targeting a 3.5% pay rise.
‘I can understand that this is causing unease among staff, but if you increase pay that will hit employment levels and lead to greater unrest,’ Marleen Barth, head of the employers organisation GGZ, told the the paper.
Some 80,000 people are employed in psychiatric hospitals, prisons and in the addiction services, the paper says.
‘If they want war, we will sharpen our knives,’ Abvakabo union negotiator Elise Merlijn is quoted as saying. ‘The sector has a shortage of staff and people work extremely hard. And arguments about the crisis cannot be applied to this sector.’
Social affairs minister Piet Hein Donner wants a pay freeze across the board because of the crisis.
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