Code Red in the Netherlands: primary education on strike on World Teachers’ Day


On 5 October 2017, at the occasion of World Teachers’ Day, Primary Education teachers in the Netherlands are set out to organise a strike. The one-day action is the consequence of the governmental coalition’s failure to meet primary education teachers’ demands for a substantial rise of funding allocated to the primary education sector in the State budget plan for the year 2018.

In spite of promising announces made by the leader of the Labour Party (PvdA) in June 2017, following protest action, the amount allocated for primary education in next year’s State budget proves to contain a sum of 270 million euros to increase teachers’ salaries. However, this amounts to only a fraction of the 1.4 billion euros necessary to catch up with salaries of teachers in other sectors. A pay rise and the reduction of the workload are necessary to make the profession attractive again and to avoid huge teacher shortages. Education trade unions and partners from the PO-front, including education employers’ organisations, consider the 270 million a first step, but far from sufficient in order to solve the problem. In consequence, the Code Red alert was sent out: on World Teachers’ Day, teachers in primary education are to undertake a strike action. The PO-front demands for an urgent solution proposal from the government in order to substantially rise salaries and reduce workload for teachers in primary education.

On the 5 October strike, Susan Flocken, ETUCE European Director, stated: “Teachers in primary education in the Netherlands’ demands are fully supported by ETUCE. As many education workers in the European region”, she continued, “they are asked by their government to do more with less resources available. On World Teachers’ Day, we acknowledge their distress, and call on continuous social dialogue in order to resolve this issue”.

ETUCE, as a partner to the European Trade Union Confederation’s “Pay Rise Campaign”, advocates for a rise in wages for all European workers, including education workers.

To know more about the strike organised on 5 October 2017, please click here.