Civil servants announce labor actions in wage conflict

Civil servants will soon be performing labor actions, the involved trade unions announced on Monday. The unions gave Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations until Monday morning to respond to a wage increase demand for civil servants. She didn't and actions will now follow, the unions announced, reports.

A first action meeting will be held at the Inspectorate for Social Affairs and Employment before the end of the week. Strikes are planned at the Tax Office and at Customs. Other government services, like the service for the penitentiary institutions DJI, will hold go-slow actions. 

The unions demanded a 3.5 percent wage increase. According to Minister Ollongren, there is "a gap between the possibilities and the demands that were set". She did not make a counter offer.

"This is a disregard for their own staff", Marco Ouwehand of union FNV Overheid said, according to the newspaper. "We have been in negotiations since December. In all that time the employer did not put anything on the table. The government calls on other employers to increase wages, but won't do it themselves. After almost half a year of talking, no offer has been made."

The collective bargaining agreement for civil servants expired at the end of last year. Around 118 thousand employees fall under this agreement.