The Netherlands: Secondary education sector raises its voice


Following the series of strikes at primary education level, the secondary education level  kicks off actions in the Netherlands.

While the actions in primary education are still running –primary education teachers from the South of the Netherlands took the baton and will go on strike on 13 April 2018 -  the pressure is also building up amongst teachers in secondary education.

AOb reports that as a consequence of the fast growing shortage of teachers, mainly due to low salaries and high workload, the primary education sector has been prioritised. However, teachers in secondary education have also started mobilising. Their major issue is workload, although salaries have been also frozen over a long period of time. According to AOb, one out of three young teachers who starts working in secondary education leaves the sector within 5 years. A quarter of secondary teachers suffers from work-related stress and burnout. Negotiations have been going on for a long time without resulting in a collective agreement.

Together with other education unions, AOb asks for a reduction of the number of teaching hours and a salary raise of 3,5 %. Conversely, the employers’ organisation claims that the demands are “unrealistic”, offering a salary raise of around 2% excluding discussions about reduction of teaching hours and workload.

As a result, on 29 March 2018, the unions are holding the first demonstration at the congress of the employers’ organisation in secondary education, the VO Raad.