90 percent of hospitals to take part in Nov. 20 strike

Banner calling for a better collective bargaining agreement for hospital workers hanging in the OLVG Oost hospital, 29 July 2019
Banner calling for a better collective bargaining agreement for hospital workers hanging in the OLVG Oost hospital, 29 July 2019Photo: NL Times

Nine out of ten hospitals in the Netherlands will be taking part in a strike for a better collective labor agreement on November 20th. A total of 82 hospitals and rehabilitation centers responded to the trade unions' call to strike. Employees of university hospitals will not participate because they fall under a different collective agreement, NU.nl reports.

The strike is organized by unions CNV, FNV, FBZ and NU'91. The participating hospitals will run on so-called Sunday service on November 20th. That means that everyone working in non-emergency departments will not be working. The strike affects radiology departments, nursing departments, facility services, laboratories, surgeries and dozens of other services. Appointments at any of these departments on strike day will have to be moved.

The collective labor agreement for hospitals expired on March 31st and affects over 200 thousand hospital employees. The unions are demanding a structural wage increase and better agreements about working and rest times in the new agreement. 

A spokesperson for the Dutch hospitals' association NVZ told NU.nl that they are aware the strike will affect patients. By announcing the strike early the NVZ tried to make it as easy as possible for patients to reschedule their appointments. In order to help those affected as quickly as possible, the unions expect their members to work a little harder after the strike, according to the newspaper. 

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