Tentative agreement on the CLA Dutch Universities 2024-2025: what does this mean for you?

The Employers association UNL and the labor unions AOB, CNV, FBZ and FNV have reached a tentative agreement on the collective labor agreement Dutch Universities 2024-2025. This tentative agreement will be presented for approval to the various parties’ members in the coming weeks. The CLA will run from the 1st of July 2024 to the 30th of June 2025, and applies to all employed PhD-candidates at Dutch universities. 

This time, there are no changes relating specifically to PhD-candidates, although the interests of PhD-candidates have been considered in more general provisions regarding the quality of work and social safety. Below we list out the changes that are most relevant to employed PhD-candidates.


  • Wages will be increased by 3,7% per the 1st of September 2024, and by an additional 1% per the 1st of January 2025. These increases have to be put into effect (retroactively) no later than the 31st of December 2024.
  • In addition, all employees will receive a one-time bonus of € 300,- gross (on the basis of full time employment).

Social safety:

  • Each university will create a central contact point for reporting social safety related issues. These will guide the reporting employees to the appropriate instance or procedure.
  • Employers will ‘give their utmost effort’ to protect those who report unsafe or transgressive behavior, particularly those on temporary contracts like PhD-candidates. This includes protecting them from negative effects such as delays or other obstacles to the successful completion of the PhD-trajectory.
  • Non-disclosure clauses in termination settlements related to transgressive behavior will no longer be allowed to bar either employers or employees from reporting to internal contact points or the police.


  • The University ‘functie ordeningssyteem’ (UFO) in which it is determined which tasks can be assigned to different roles, such as PhD-candidate, will be evaluated. This will give PhD-candidates more clarity on what can and cannot be expected of them by their employer.
  • In addition, labor unions and employers will through a variety of measures continue working on workload and work pressure, career perspectives for young researchers and the stimulation and guarantee of the effective use of vacation days.
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