Larger rise in collectively negotiated wages in second quarter

Collectively negotiated wage levels in the Netherlands were 1.9 percent higher in the second quarter of this year than one year previously. This is a substantially larger increase than in 2005, when it was 0.7 percent, the smallest increase since 1984.

Quarterly increases in collectively negotiated wages

The increase in collectively negotiated wages became smaller and smaller after the end of 2001. Since the third quarter of 2005, however, it has been increasing again.

More special allowances

Special allowances, among other things related to the life course savings scheme and medical expenses, account for 0.3 percent of the wage rise. Without these special allowances, the average increase would be 1.6 percent.

Highest rise for public sector

Special allowances are also increasing in the public sector, making the wage rise in this sector the largest, at 2.4 percent. In 2004 and 2005 wage increases in this sector were smallest at 0.4 percent.

Collectively negotiated wage rise by sector, second quarter 2006

Two sectors already above 3 percent

Wage rises in two sectors are already back above the 3 percent level: energy and water companies (+3.6 percent) and financial institutions (+3.1 percent).

Wage rises since 1980

Collectively negotiated wages of employees rose by an average 85 percent in the period 1980-2005. In this period wages in the public sector remained substantially below those in the private sector. Between 1980 and 2005 collectively negotiated wages for government employees rose by 59 percent, while those for private sector employees nearly doubled.

Wage rises per sector, 1980-2005

Difference stems from early eighties

The difference in the increase in collectively negotiated wages between government and private sector started in the first half of the 1980s. Between 1980 and 1985 private sector wages rose by 20 percent, while those for government workers fell by 2 percent. The latter was the result of budget restriction measures by the government, affecting civil servant salaries among other things.
After 1985 the development in collectively negotiated wages in public and the private sector were about the same: between 1985 and 2005 wages for government employees rose by 62 percent, those for private sector employees by 63 percent.

Nathalie Peltzer