Primary school teachers want same salary as high school lecturers

. ()

Primary school teachers are demanding the same salary as their colleagues in secondary education with a grade two teaching qualification, according to a manifesto written by action group PO in Actie. They want the next government to release money specifically for increasing salaries and decreasing workload for primary school teachers, the Volkskrant reports.

The increase in salaries to secondary school teacher level alone will cost around 1.8 billion euros, according to the newspaper. That excludes measures against the heavy workload. 

The manifesto, addressed to the new government, will be signed by both unions and employers on Wednesday. "The salary difference can amount to several hundred euros per month", Thijs Roovers of PO in Actie said to the newspaper. "While you need to complete a college course for both sectors." 

Roovers, himself a primary school teacher in Amsterdam, added that teachers don't choose their profession for money, but for the children. "There is a lot of hidden input. Teachers go to performances with their class in the evening, they come to school on their day off. That says something about the mentality. But there must be a fair salary in return."

The PO Raad, the umbrella organization for primary education in the Netherlands, will sign the manifesto. "Higher salaries are desperately needed to make the teaching profession attractive", chairman Rinda den Besten said to the Volkskrant. "In 2025 we expect a shortage of 10 thousand teachers in primary schools."

Education union AOb also supports the manifesto. The union has been calling for higher salaries in primary education for years. "Salaries must rise and the workload must decrease. This is no new call. Education has been at the zero line for six years. That's apalling." chairman Liesbeth Verheggen said.