A big national Strike is called for all sectors of education in the Netherlands, if you’ve got kids then you want to make a note for the 15th of March 2019: a ton of schools in the Netherlands will shut down that day.

The Dutch education unions are organizing a national strike on Friday the 15th of March for both primary, secondary and higher education. (read up on the Dutch education system) They want more money for salaries and a reduction in work pressure. It would be the first time in the Netherlands that the entire education sector grinds to a stop.

The organizers want a structural annual investment of 4 billion euros: 3 billion for primary and secondary education and one billion for colleges and universities.

Are things so bad in the Dutch education sector?

“The education sector is severely stretched out”, says Henrik de Moel of the General Education Union (AOb) in the NOS Radio 1 Journaal. “The shortages are increasing and it is very difficult to find people who want to stand in front of the class, also in secondary and vocational education, and if you look at the influx at teacher training, it will only become more difficult in the coming years.”

Increase the attraction of the education sector

Part of the extra money should go to a better reward. “The high workload makes the current salaries unattractive, many people leave because of that work pressure or drop out, so the appeal of the job has to be increased.”

“If we do not intervene now,” says De Moel, “the problems will only get bigger.” The willingness to act is high, according to a survey by the AOb among nearly 10,000 members. The main problems identified by the members are the filling in of vacancies, the level of the replacement teachers, the fear of reporting sick and the growing number of burnout complaints.

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The national strike is supported by action groups such as PO in Action and WO in Action. Only the trade union CNV Education does not participate. Chairman Loek Schueler does not like the moment. “At the moment I am in the middle of the negotiations to get more money and I would like to wait for the results,” she says in de Volkskrant.

Are the Dutch teachers right to call a strike? What do you think? Let us know in the comments!

Feat pic: By ‘Minister-President’/CC/Flickr

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