Strikers, thank you! 500 million for pay gap
The outgoing cabinet is investing 500 million in reducing the pay gap between primary and secondary education, as appeared yesterday in the General Political Reflections. “This is far from solving the problems in education as a whole,” says AObdirector Thijs Roovers. "But it's a good start - the head is off."
For years there has been fighting and strikes, the Zuiderpark and Malieveld were full of tens of thousands of angry teachers and supporters from all educational sectors. Their message 'Invest in education' was picked up at the last minute by the outgoing cabinet.
The coalition parties announced yesterday at the General Political Reflections that they are allocating 500 million euros for higher salaries in primary education. “This is a subject that we have campaigned for so much in recent years,” says AOb-driver Rovers. “It is fantastic that there is finally money. That 500 million is not enough to close the gap, but we are halfway there. It's started."
'I call on everyone, in all education sectors, to take action with us: you can see that it pays'
The fact that the outgoing cabinet suddenly conjured up extra money from the top hat yesterday was completely unexpected. “For four years, the cabinet stuck to the mantra that there was no extra money – period,” says Roovers. “And now it's suddenly there. It is clear that social pressure about the problems in education has become too great. The caretaker cabinet could no longer ignore it.”
The latter is because teachers and support staff have repeatedly drawn attention to the problems in education. Roovers: “Actions, demonstrations, strikes – as a participant and as a speaker, at the time still from PO in Actie, I was involved in actions throughout the country. From small manifestations to huge meetings with forty to fifty thousand colleagues in the Zuiderpark and Malieveld. If we can draw one lesson from this, it is: campaigning helps. I say from the bottom of my heart: strikers, thank you very, very much.”
And of course this does not solve all problems in education, Roovers realizes. “Colleagues throughout education, including in other sectors, are entitled to a better salary. The workload still has to be reduced, the classes have to be smaller, there is still a huge shortage of teachers. And in many education sectors, far too many people are still working in temporary jobs without security.”
More attention is also needed for supporters. Roovers: “Supporters are indispensable for extra hands in the classroom, for safety at school, for good administration and good ICT. They also make the school. And they too have to deal with increasing work pressure and an undervaluation of their work. There is still a lot of work to be done for the supporters, for school leaders and for the other education sectors.”
'This shows the usefulness of uniting and campaigning together'
But today Roovers first reflects on the success achieved. “The fact that the outgoing cabinet has now come up with this money shows the usefulness of uniting and campaigning together. we go like AOb continue with campaigns in primary education and in other sectors, but we can only do that thanks to our 83.000 members. They are the education. So I call on everyone, in all education sectors, to join us in action. You can see it pays off.”