Cabinet crisis averted: deal reached over teachers' salary increase

The VVD and PvdA managed to come to an agreement on increasing teachers' salaries in next year's budget, PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher announced on Wednesday night. The two parties agreed that a "substantial amount" will go towards teachers in the 2018 budget. With that a government crisis was averted, and the departing VVD-PvdA coalition lives to see another day, AD reports.

"Mark Rutte, on behalf of the VVD and formation parties, expressed confidence that a substantial amount will be included in the budget for 2018 for the improvement of teachers' salaries and primary education", Asscher said. "The teachers in primary education deserve more appreciation and that also includes a better salary."

This means that teachers will get a salary increase, but the exact amount is still unclear. This will be decided once the parties negotiating forming a new government together - the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie - have a better idea what their finances look like. "So not today, I had to accept that", Asscher said, according to the newspaper. "The PvdA and VVD do not have a majority in parliament anymore." He trusts that Rutte will come through on this promise.

Rutte in turn promised to deal "decently" with the "wish of the PvdA", according to AD. Though he was a bit more reluctant to call it a firm commitment. "It is a promise of effort on my part", he said. The amount that will be set aside for teachers' salary increases will be clear before the budget debate in the autumn, he said.

Last week the departing government seemed to reach a compromise on this issue. They agreed to set 270 million euros per year extra aside for increases for teachers' salaries, like the PvdA wanted. And in return the VVD could push more money into Defense. But the CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie were reluctant to commit to an amount and give the deal the go-ahead. 

The budget must be submitted to the Council of State today so that it can be checked over in time for Budget Day. PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher previously threatened that his party will not sign a budget that does not include salary increases for teachers. 


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