In what our Dutch sister union, the NVJ is calling, a historic breakthrough, two freelance journalists have been awarded a 50% pay rise by an Amsterdam court, to a rate the judges deem “reasonable”.

The two, who worked for the regional media, had refused to accept rates as low as €15 an hour, and the court applying for the first time the revised Authors’ Contract law, designed to protect freelance journalists, agreed.

The law says pay rates should be “reasonable” but this the first time a court has given an interpretation of what reasonable means.

Their employer DPG Media must now pay the reporter €0.21 a word, and the photographer €65 a photograph – approximately €25 an hour.

The NVJ is set to take up more cases. Rosa García López, secretary of the NVJ’s freelance and photographers sections said this was “an historic judgement” with “consequences for all Dutch self-employed photographers and journalists”.

You can read more about the case on the NVJ (Dutch Association of Journalists) website.