The government is structurally allocating 285 million euros for better working conditions for teachers in primary education. Minister Arie Slob (Education) points out that the social partners must first make agreements about this.

"I make an urgent appeal to the social partners to go back to the table and use this money for teachers," says Slob.

The Algemene Onderwijsbond (AOb) and the PO Council have not been in discussion since June. The employers offered a salary increase of 4 percent, but that was insufficient for the employees' association.

"If the school boards and trade unions do nothing, the money goes into the reserves. That would be a shame," warns the minister.

Social partners find money offered insufficient

In a response, the union says that the 285 million euros is not enough. "We need money for special education, for school leaders, for wage increases in a general sense and we want to eliminate wage arrears in relation to the market," says AOB chairman Liesbeth Verheggen.

Moreover, Verheggen says, it is a "normal wage margin" of 3 percent. An increase that applies to all civil servants.

The employers also denounce the image that Slob portrays of teachers who are improving with the available millions. The pay gap is not being made up, but only ensures that it does not widen, the PO Council says in a response.

Teachers improved on average 9.5 percent

The money is intended for teachers, so that their salary can grow with that of employees of companies. However, the parties involved must first agree at the negotiating table.

According to calculations by the ministry, teachers increased by an average of 9.5 percent in 2018 and 2019. This is due to an earlier additional investment of 270 million euros for higher salaries, an agreement made during the formation of this coalition under pressure from the PvdA. It was also agreed in the coalition agreement that 430 million euros will be added to reduce the workload.

In the meantime, schools are still struggling with a shortage of teachers. According to research from, at least one in five primary schools still has a vacancy for a teacher.


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