Dutch primary schools closed on 5 Oct. as teachers strike

Primary school teachers across the Netherlands will strike on Thursday, October 5th in an attempt to push the government to increase their salaries, unions CNV Education and FNV announced. 

"Politicians really need to pay up, we want a fair salary and less work pressure in primary education", CNV Education chairman Loek Schueler said to news wire ANP. "The vague commitments politics made so far are insufficient for structurally better education."

The two trade unions along with AOb, AVS, FvOv, primary education council PO Raad and protest group PO In Actie, together form the PO-front. The PO-front is organizing a protest action in the Zuiderpark in The Hague on October 5th. "I call on our members in primary education to go on strike on October 5th", Schueler said.

The PO-front wants a structural amount of 900 million euros for salary increases and 500 million euros for reducing work pressure. Over the past weeks, amounts of 270 million euros and "a substantial amount" were mentioned in budget talks by the departing VVD and PvdA government. "That first amount is, of course, far too little and the second promise is far too vague", according to Schueler.

A large majority of school boards in primary education support the goal of the teacher protests and understand the need for a strike, according to a survey PO Raad did among primary school boards. The PO Raad expressed support for the announced teacher strike and will inform school boards about the legal aspects of the strike, according to ANP. The council also called on school boards to support employees who want to take part in the strike.