Primary schools in the Netherlands plan to go on strike
Teachers at primary schools in the Netherlands are planning to go on strike on October 5, Teacher’s day, for the whole day. In June, teachers went on strike for an hour.
Purpose of the strike
The teachers feel they are overworked and want to reduce their workloads by hiring more teachers. They also want salaries comparable to secondary school teachers. At secondary schools in the Netherlands, salaries for teachers are considerably higher, with the starting salary 7 percent higher and the maximum salary 21 percent higher.
In order to achieve these goals, the primary education action group (PO in Actie), a group of more than 37.000 primary school teachers, estimates that 900 million euros is needed to increase the salaries of teachers and 500 million euros to decrease the workload.
The two main teaching unions in the Netherlands, the General Education Union (AOb) and the National Federation of Christian Trade Unions (CNV) are planning to go forward with the strike if the new Dutch government does not agree to make the mentioned amounts available.
Support for primary school teachers in the Netherlands
A poll carried out by the PO board shows support for teachers wishing to strike. Most school boards are supportive of the strike, with 60 percent taking a positive stance and 30 percent taking a neutral position. However, 10 percent prohibit their employees from joining in with the strike.
On October 5, parents will need to arrange day care themselves or keep their children at home. Some schools may organise external care for children who are not able to stay home, for which the parents will be billed.
The new government has promised that money will be freed up for primary education; however, no specific amount has been mentioned.