Academic Education and Research

The General Union of Education [AOb] looks after the interests of those working at universities and research institutions. Until January, this was done by VAWO – the academic union – but following the merger, we are stronger. Together with our representatives at universities, we are working on a healthy and safe working environment.

Our members are our first priority. We give them sound legal advice if they need it, we make sure we know what is at play at universities and research institutions and we listen to what matters to our members. Healthy scholarship is not reserved for the union or a university, it belongs to all of us and we can achieve this only if we work on it together.

New CLA for universities

The AOb is pleased that this CLA agreement frees up additional margin for researchers whose temporary contract is expiring, whilst the Corona crisis means that their research isn’t being completed on time or is incurring a delay. A 3-percent salary increase has been agreed and every university will be allocated an independent ombudsman. A study will also be carried out into career opportunities of young academics.

Become a member


Topics such as social safety, the high pressure of publication, diversity, reducing job pressure but also the high number of temporary contracts all matter to us. There are so many more subjects we are working hard on such as advocating a different financing model for universities and fair financing of academic education and research.

On a national level, we argue these topics with the minister, Members of Parliament and, of course, the employers. We carry on hard bargaining with the Association of Universities in the Netherlands [VSNU] about a good collective agreement that discusses these topics.

At the university

At the university or research institution, AOb representatives take part in the so-called Local Consultations, whose members include the Executive Board and representatives from other trade unions. Together, they are working on the implementation of the collective agreement and they make agreements about local terms and conditions of employment. We are proud of our representatives, who have a heart in scholarships and in their colleagues. You’re always welcome to make an appointment with them to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee. Find your workplace representative.


The AOb also believes in collaboration. Together with various organisations, including WOinActie, the PhD Network Netherlands [PNN] and the Dutch Network of Women Professors [LNVH], we make a collective effort to draw attention and improve situations.

Questions? Contact us 0900 – 463 62 62 or

Meest gestelde vragen

  • How do I become a member of the AOb?

    The first three months of membership are free. Complete this form to become a member of the AOb.

    The registration form is currently still available in Dutch only. An English language form will be produced shortly. We hope that the Dutch language version will suffice until then. Should that not be the case, please contact our information and advice centre, IAC at

  • What are the benefits of becoming a member?

    The first three months of membership are free. Membership offers several benefits:

    • Legal aid for your job and income
    • Eleven issues of Onderwijsblad in your letterbox each year, full of authoritative articles
    • You receive personal advice
    • Strike pay in the event your board of governors withholds salary during a strike
    • The more members, the stronger we are during the negotiations for your collective agreement
    • A tax benefit of more than 40% on the contribution
    • Tax services offered by the Dutch Trade Union Confederation [FNV]; have your tax papers completed free of charge every year

    More information can be found here.