Wage negotiations: “extension of career lengths is not compromised”
Tuesday, 26 February 2019
Agoria, the technological industry federation, is pleased with the draft agreement which trade unions and employers concluded early on Tuesday morning. The result is “well-balanced”, said Marc Lambotte, Agoria CEO. The discussions around unemployment with additional business payments (RCC or company supplement and pre-retirement sums) do not compromise government intentions in terms of career extension.
In Lambotte’s view, it is about time that trade unions and employers of the Group of Ten have kept within the legal framework as to the wage norm. It is excellent that trade unions and employers have quickly returned to the negotiating table, but it is now important for all social partners to continue to champion this balanced proposal and look towards the future, he said.
Lambotte has previously warned of the reputational damage that repeated national strikes would cause for Belgium in an international sphere.
After 20 hours of negotiations, social partners agreed to adjust the schedule for the RCC regime. The draft agreement makes provision for long careers and strenuous occupations to receive a pre-retirement sum at 59 for a period of two and half years. For companies in difficulty and in the process of restructuring, the retirement age will be increased from 56 to 58 in 2019, 59 in 2020, and 60 at the end of 2020.
Last summer the government decided as part of the so-called “jobs deal” to establish a minimum age for access to RCC, at 59 for this year and 60 in 2021. However, the relevant royal decrees have not yet been published.
“We have made the system slightly more flexible which our companies find acceptable,” stated Lambotte regarding the agreement on the RCC regime. “The government’s intention to extend career lengths is not at all compromised by the agreement.”
There is absolutely no doubt that technology companies will support the social agreement, said the CEO of Agoria.