Teachers in the Netherlands threaten a national strike
Teachers in both primary and secondary education in the Netherlands have announced a national strike. If the government doesn’t respond to their demand, namely hundreds of millions of euros extra being allocated to education, they will strike on November 6. School leaders will also join the strike.
Teacher shortages and high workloads
Earlier this year, unions and employers called on the government to invest an extra 423,5 million euros into education for 2020. This money would be used to raise salaries, lower workloads and tackle the current teacher shortage. Speaking of the shortage, it has gotten so bad that just last week a primary school in Amsterdam announced that it has to close, as there are not enough teachers.
During the General Political Debate, the one where a few ministers were caught watching football, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said he was prepared to set aside some money to help with the teacher shortage at primary schools but did not name an amount. This extra money would be a one-off and would come with the condition that employers and employees in the primary education sector agree on a collective labour agreement.
Giving the government an ultimatum
According to the education unions, the debate made it clear that the government does not want to invest in education even though whole classes are sent home daily due to teacher shortages. The unions are giving the government until October 21 to agree to their terms; otherwise, the strike on November 6 will take place. A few days before the deadline, there is a discussion scheduled with the government.