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Nautilus members vote to accept new CBAs with VWH and Spliethoff

12 March 2024

Nautilus members have voted strongly to accept the results of negotiations between the Union and the Dutch Association of Employers in Merchant Shipping (VWH) on a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) for 2024.

The new agreement, aimed at combining an inflation-busting pay uplift with improved terms and conditions for a better work-life balance, contains the following provisions:

  • 6.5% pay uplift, to apply from 1 January 2024
  • Nine weeks of paid parental leave
  • Five weeks of extra paid maternity/paternity leave for partners
  • A right for seafarers who temporarily stop going to sea due to personal circumstances to return at the same rank for up to two years, with the restoration of the navigation license facilitated and funded. A longer return guarantee can be agreed in consultation with the company. The guarantee does not apply if the seafarer leaves to work for a competitor
  • A plan for good maritime trainee guidance, including an established method for trainees experiencing problems regarding their supervision to report their issues
  • Stronger agreements on career discussions, free internet onboard and food provision
  • Clarity in the CBA that seafarers do not have to repay the costs of mandatory training on termination of employment

Nautilus has also agreed a new CBA with shipping company Spliethoff on similar terms, but with the further agreement that second and third officers can choose to make shorter voyages of between 9 weeks and 5 months, rather than the current four months. Additionally, there is a five-year return guarantee for new mothers who want to temporarily stop working at sea.

Nautilus co-negotiators Sascha Meijer, Marcel van Dam and Jelle de Boer said that the positive result was only possible with the active participation of many lay reps, with many new young lay reps coming forward to discuss their needs with the shipowners’ negotiators.


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