Dutch primary school teachers threaten more strikes

If a primary school teacher strike organized for Thursday does not have the desired effect, the teachers will follow it up with another two days of striking, protest group PO in Actie announced.

"This is the moment", Jan van de Ven of PO in Actie said to broadcaster NOS. "If on Thursday what we want does not happen, we will continue. Preferably with all the unions. If they don't participate, we'll continue with the part that is prepared to continue with actions. There is an enormous willingness for action among teachers." 

Van der Ven could not say exactly when the other strikes will happen.

PO in Actie wants the new Dutch government to put 900 million euros into increasing primary school teachers' salaries, and another 500 million euros to reduce workload. The primary school teachers are not satisfied with the amount of 270 million euros the departing government set aside for them.

This is the first the unions are hearing about more strikes, Liesbeth Verheggen of general teachers union AOb said to the Volkskrant. "We perform actions together, and it seems unusual for one organizer to announce new steps independently. I find it sorry that it is happening like this, because we desperately need each other."

Primary school umbrella organization PO-Raad is supporting the strike on Thursday, but will not yet express support for any further actions, PO-Raad president Rinda den Besten said to the Volkskrant. "Everytime a strike is announced, we go to the school boards. If they want to continue, then we continue. If not, we go our separate ways."