Judges, prosecutors threaten to go on strike in ultimatum to Minister
Judges and public prosecutors issued an ultimatum to Legal Protection Minister Franc Weerwind on Tuesday, demanding that he come up with a better offer in contract talks by March 10. If he does not, the group plans to begin labor actions, incluiding work stoppages, according to the Dutch Association for the Judiciary (NVvR).
The union said the judges and court officers are under intense strain due to excessive work pressure, partly caused by understaffing. In December, the NVvR suspended collective bargaining talks with the ministry after seven rounds. Ten meetings were held among its members in recent weeks. According to the NNvR, this showed that magistrates support the union en masse and are prepared to take action.
"Members of the judiciary are drawing a line in the sand all over the country. Up to here and no further," said NVvR chairman Marc Fierstra. "I spoke to members who just had to work a full working week after an entire weekend, because there was simply no one else, and suspects who we do not want on the street would have been released. Then we need a minister as an employer who does not look away, but gets to work."
The union’s demands include some form of compensation for the workload and overtime, and a better wage offer because of inflation. If the minister has not responded to this before 10 a.m. on March 10, labor action will be taken. It is unclear exactly what those actions will be.
However, the NVvR said that it will take into account urgent matters and other pressing issues. It is also ensured that public order and safety will not be compromised as much as possible.
Reporting by ANP