Teachers set for morning strike; Pay raises unaffordable: Gov’t

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With primary school teachers across the Netherlands set to strike on Tuesday morning, the outgoing Dutch government announced that it simply can't afford pay raises for them at this stage, the Telegraaf reports.

Primary school teachers across the country will strike for the first hour of lessons on Tuesday. They want higher wages and lower work pressure. They find it unfair that teachers at than they do.

But according to Education Minister Jet Bussemaker and State Secretary Sander Dekker, pay increases are just not possible right now. The Ministry of Education simply does not have the budget for it, they wrote in a letter to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, according to the newspaper. "In addition, the Ministry also has excessive deficits due to higher prices and higher student numbers", they wrote. The fact that the current government is on its way out, does not help either.

Bussemaker and Dekker also included an overview showing that, on average, primary school teachers indeed earn less than their high school counterparts. A starting primary school teacher at the lowest scale earns an average salary of 2,436 euros gross. Once holiday benefits, year-end bonuses and the like are added, that amounts to 2,896 euros. For the lowest scale of secondary education, it is 2,601 euros and 3,074 euros respectively. In primary education the maximum salary is 5,294 euros, compared to 6,298 euros in secondary education.

"Should the situation arise that the current cabinet has to draw up the budget for 2018, then the government will make an integral consideration of the problems, political wishes and available financial room, taking into account the government's departing status", the two Education officials wrote, according to the Telegraaf. 

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