Govt deal for higher teacher salaries on shaky ground

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The compromise reached by the departing government on increasing teachers' salaries, is still on shaky ground. The VVD and PvdA reached an agreement, but formation parties CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie are reluctant to give the go-ahead, AD reports.

Last week the departing coalition of VVD and PvdA managed to come to a compromise. An additional 270 million euros will go towards teachers each year for higher salaries, as the PvdA wanted. And in return the VVD can push more money into Defense. But for this deal to pass through parliament, the departing government needs the support of the CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie. Their seats are indispensable for a parliamentary majority. 

The VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie are currently negotiating forming a new Dutch government together. On Monday the CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie would not give the go ahead for the teacher salaries deal, according to AD. "I'm not negotiating the 2018 budget, but a government agreement", CDA leader Sybrand Buma said. 

The problem is that on the formation table, it is not yet clear how the new cabinet wants to divide the available money in the budgets for the coming years, according to the newspaper. That is one of the reasons there won't be a new government before Budget Day, mediator Gerrit Zalm said on Monday. The CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie do not want to give their support for more money for teachers every year, while they do not yet have an agreement on how the rest of the money will be distributed.

Time is running out for the VVD and PvdA to get support on this deal - they have to hand in the 2018 budget to the Council of State on Thursday. If the budget does not include a salary increase for teachers, the PvdA will not sign it, party leader Lodewijk Asscher previously said. But the CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie will not be pressured by a possible collapse of the current government.