Schiphol agrees to higher wages for security guards to address staff shortages
Schiphol Airport and the unions and private companies representing the airport's security workers agreed to a significant boost in pay as Schiphol attempts to attract more guards while preventing the staff shortage at the airport from getting any worse. The airport offered an additional 2.50 euros per hour raise starting in November, on top of a 1.40 euro hourly supplement workers have been receiving since the end of the summer holiday period. The workers still have to vote on the deal.
Those two bonuses combine for a 40 percent increase for some lower paid security personnel, though the 1.40 euro fee is only in effect until next September. The FNV labor union said the pay raise amounts to a 20 percent increase for workers in a higher pay scale. Additionally, security workers who staff the airport will be eligible for an additional 35 percent bonus if their shift starts between midnight and 5:30 a.m. for all time worked up through 6 a.m.
In a statement, Schiphol said that the security workers will still receive another increase in pay based on the inflation terms of their collective bargaining agreement. That takes effect on 1 January.
It is not a certainty that workers will vote in favor of the deal. During the summer holiday period, they were given a 5.25 euro hourly bonus to keep them showing up for their shifts. That happened after months of long, chaotic lines at security checkpoints. Once that large bonus was reduced at the end of the summer period, the long lines returned even though passenger figures were not abnormal. As a result, the airport's CEO, Dick Benschop, resigned. He will step down once his successor has been chosen. The return of the long queues prompted the airport to put a tighter limit on the number of departing passengers through March. That decision could be revised in December.
"Schiphol is pleased about this wage increase that will help make working at Schiphol more attractive to security employees. In combination with better schedules and rest areas, this is an important measure in solving the shortage of security officers at the airport," the airport said.
Erik Maas, who helped negotiate the deal on behalf of the CNV labor union, told ANP he hoped that the improved working conditions would help close the deal. He noted that the new raise "has the advantage that it will become part of the salary." That means that it will also be paid if someone is sick or takes leave, as opposed to the temporary summer bonus.
The flexible way Schiphol tries to schedule guards for work has been one thorn in the side of the workers, who often opt for more scheduling stability and higher pay by staffing security posts at other locations. KLM CEO Marjan Rintel was one of several who asked the airport to take a new look at how it handles scheduling of its security staffers, amid reports that over a third of airport guards were thinking about quitting.