Primary school teachers' contract talks stall over wage increase

Teacher strike announcement at an Amsterdam school, 5 November 2019
Teacher strike announcement at an Amsterdam school, 5 November 2019Photo: NL Times

Negotiations between trade unions and employers for a new collective bargaining agreement for primary education stalled on Wednesday evening, union AOb and employers' organization PO-Raad announced on Thursday. The unions regarded the employers' offer of a just under 3 percent wage increase as too low, NU.nl reports.

Wages will have to increase more to make teaching an attractive profession, according to the union. "Employers still don't seem to understand that the teacher shortage is the biggest concern", AOB president Eugenie Stolk said, according to the newspaper. A teacher strike held early this month was largely focused on the teacher shortage.

PO-Raad is "disappointed" that AOb rejected their final offer. "The PO-Raad believes that it had made a good offer, based on the money that the government is currently making available for primary education", the employers said. "The PO-Raad used all the available space in the final bid, if the employers had offered more on salary, for example, it would have been necessary to cut on staff."

It is not yet clear whether the negotiations will resume. Whether more strikes will follow, is also unclear. 

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