Thousands of striking teachers expected to march through Amsterdam today

Signs say we're on strike in front of Basisschool Oostelijke Eilanden in Amsterdam, 12 Dec 2017
Signs say we're on strike in front of Basisschool Oostelijke Eilanden in Amsterdam, 12 Dec 2017Photo: Zachary Newmark / NL Times

Primary school teachers in Noord-Holland, Utrecht and Flevoland are striking today for higher salaries and a lower workload. Thousands of teachers are expected to march through Amsterdam, from the Waterlooplein to the Museumplein, AD reports.

The march underlines that primary education is still on 'code red', according to educational organizations. They say that the quality of education is under severe pressure due to the rising teacher shortage. 

This is the second strike in a relay. Last month teachers in Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe laid down their work. On April 13th teachers in Noord-Brabant and Limburg will go on strike.

The primary school teachers demand a higher salary and a lower work load. In the government agreement the Rutte III coalition already promised primary school teachers 500 million euros to reduce workload and 270 million euros to increase salaries. Last week the government committed an additional 236 million euros to reducing workload in primary education.

But according to the activists, united in action group PO-front, this still isn't enough. PO-front wants a total of 900 million euros for increasing primary school teachers' salaries. 

This is the fourth primary school teacher strike in the past five months. In addition to the first relay strike, there were also nationwide strikes on October 5th and December 12th. Before the December strike Minister Slob already clearly stated that there is no extra money available. "That is because I expressed my commitment to amounts that are in the coalition agreement", he said late in November. According to the Minister, the teachers are already receiving a substantial amount, while other sectors get nothing at all. More strikes do not change that, he said then.