Tuesday 10 December 2019

Wage rises reach highest level in ten years but are eaten up by inflation

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Pay rises agreed in collective bargaining with unions averaged 2.6% in the previous three months, the biggest rise in 10 years, national statistics agency CBS said on Thursday.

The biggest jump is for people working in the construction sector,  where wages will rise by 4%, the CBS said. Hospitality industry wages will go up an average of 3.7%.

The CBS warns that much of the increases in pay will be swallowed up by inflation although tax cuts next year will soften the blow. Inflation is currently running at around 2.7%.

The Telegraaf notes that some sectors where there are serious shortages of staff, such as healthcare, are not putting up pay. The education sector too is campaigning for more money to offset rising teacher shortages.

The FNV trade union federation has set its sights on a 5% pay rise next year, the same as its 2019 target.

Earlier this year, prime minister Mark Rutte infuriated the private sector when he threatened to abandon corporate tax cuts if companies don’t put up wages.

‘The only thing which is going up is the salaries of senior staff, not people covered by collective labour agreements (cao),’ Rutte said. ‘They are not going up enough, and I do not consider that to be acceptable.’

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