The pay dispute between police unions and justice minister Ard van der Steur threatens to worsen, Dutch media say on Thursday.
Van der Steur has told the unions that the cabinet will not make any more cash available and that only secondary benefits are up for further negotiation.
The government has reached a deal with the smaller civil service unions for an offer which it says is worth 5.05% plus a €500 bonus.
The police unions, however, say the deal is made up of a 2.85% rise over two years plus 2.2% from changes in the pension policy which may affect eventual pension payouts. Civil service pay has been frozen for the past four years.
Ministers have set aside €133m to fund the pay rise. ‘The cabinet is showing responsibility,’ the minister told the Telegraaf. ‘We have done the most that we can.’
Police unions on Monday began a new round of industrial action in support of their pay claim, this time by only dealing with emergency calls on certain days a week.
This means officers will respond to calls involving serious physical violence, armed robberies and murder but not less urgent cases such as vandalism and noise nuisance.
The unions are also disrupting the start of the Dutch football season by striking during the coming weekend’s matches. A number have already been cancelled.
Van der Steur has urged the unions to stop their campaign and use ‘our combined energy to reach a good pay and conditions agreement’.
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