Primary-, secondary school teachers to strike on Nov. 6

Amsterdam primary school closed for a nationwide teacher strike, 15 March 2019
Amsterdam primary school closed for a nationwide teacher strike, 15 March 2019. (Photo: NL Times)

Teachers in primary- and secondary education throughout the Netherlands will strike on Wednesday, November 6th. The education unions gave the government until Sunday to respond to their demands for more money in education. The unions received no response, so the previously announced strike will now definitely happen, the unions said, NOS reports.

This time around, the unions will not have teachers gather to protest on the Malieveld in The Hague, like the previous strike on March 15th. Instead, teachers are asked to make themselves heard on social media as much as possible, attend a number of regional events, or meet up to watch the debate on the education budget in the lower house of Dutch parliament.

The trade unions and employers submitted a joint demand of 423.5 million euros to the government in July. According to the education sector, this amount will be needed next year to increase salary, reduce workload, and deal with the teacher shortage. 

During the budget debate in September, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that he is prepared to set aside an extra once-off amount to combat the teacher shortage in primary schools. But he did not mention any amounts, and he attached the condition that employers and employees in primary education must first conclude a collective bargaining agreement. 

Earlier in September, Minister Arie Slob for Primary and Secondary Education promised a structural 285 million euros to improve working conditions in primary education. He too hung the collective bargaining agreement over the extra money. 

According to the education unions, the government has made it clear that it does not want to invest in education. And that while classes are sent home every day because there are not enough teachers. 

Last month an Amsterdam primary school announced that it has to close due to the teacher shortage - the first "fatality" of the teacher shortage. 

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