The General Education Union (AOb) has declared a national strike by teachers in primary, secondary, and higher education on March 15. They want more investment from the government in the education sector, as the workload is too high, and there are fewer teachers willing to take it on with the low funding, says AOb chairman Liesbeth Verheggen to de Volkskrant.
They are organising this strike before the provincial elections on March 20, so that it is put on the government’s agenda. They are making “a demand of 4 billion euros for the entire education: from primary education up to and including university education”. They have a list of requirements which are specific for each sector, and you can view them here. If you’re still unclear of the education system here, check out this guide for expats!
Who is participating in the strike?
The union has a total membership of 84,000, making it the largest education union in the Netherlands. They are also supported by various action groups like PO in action and WO in action. They are working together with FNV Education and Research in bringing together this strike.
— Dr Natalie Scholz (@NatalieScholz) March 6, 2019
However, CNV Education, the second largest education union with 50,000 members, does not want to participate, reports the Volkskrant. The chairman Loek Schueler was in the middle of negotiations in January for more money for primary school teachers and caretakers, and does not think it is a good time.
Action week and the national strike
This national strike is preceded with an action week that started on March 11, and will conclude on March 15. According to their program on their website, they called for a ‘noise and applause moment’ at noon to kickstart it, where they urged parents, pupils, students and educational staff to show in any way that they support this demand for higher investments. For example according to their website, students in Utrecht University walked through the library with whistles, pots and pans with a sign that read “Good education has a price”.
The entire education sector in the Netherlands (from primary schools to universities) is going on strike Friday March 15 in The Hague, 12.00 hours. After years of cuts and increasing workloads, participate in the action #woinactie #onderwijsstaking #investeerinonderwijs
— Rebeca Ibáñez Martín (@rebecaibanezm) March 11, 2019
The action week will continue, where they have various things planned in various educational institutions around the country. For a full list of what is happening, check out their website, and see if you can participate!
Have you already been participating? What do you make of this action week and strike? Let us know in the comments!