Nautilus and the Dutch Association of Employers in Commercial Shipping (VWH) agreed the CBA which covers about 3,000 seafarers working on Dutch-flagged ships.

The most important part of the deal is that employers will contribute a sum of money that seafarers would have been entitled to before their pension age increased to 67.

Seafarers will also contribute unused leave, savings or other investments, which the employers will then double under 'bridging finance' arrangements to enable a reasonable income until the state retirement age.

This is the first time social partners have agreed such a variation on pension rules for merchant shipping under a specific framework agreement.

Among others, the CBA ensures a wage increase of 6% over a two year period between 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2021.

Within the CBA, the early retirement framework is a variation to what the national pension deal has made possible, and Nautilus members considered this a good and feasible deal,

...says Nautilus executive officer Sascha Meijer.

The early retirement framework agreement under the Nautilus CBA is a result of the recent Dutch central pension agreement which means that from 2021 unions and employers are entitled to make it possible within their CBAs for those employed in ‘heavy jobs’ to retire early, Nautilus explains.

In each sector, employers, and unions can agree the specific details further within framework agreements during CBA negotiations.

In addition, the new CBA includes improved arrangements for internet access for home communication at sea and efforts to combat fatigue.

Employers agreed to take the interests of seafarers into account when making decisions about flights and costs in order to avoid unnecessary fatigue.

This part of the agreement resulted from complaints by seafarers about having to fly with low cost airlines, or with excessive transit waits, causing fatigue on the way to work or returning home on shore leave.

Our members are happy with the wage increase and being able to stop working earlier. Their work is physically and mentally tough and they work long days with many night shifts and work far from home. You can't keep that up until you are 67,

...adds Ms Meijer.