Education minister Dennis Wiersma, trade unions and employers' organizations today signed the Education Agreement at Het Bebeken primary school in The Hague.
Education minister Dennis Wiersma, trade unions and employers' organizations today signed the Education Agreement at Het Bebeken primary school in The Hague.

Statue: AOb

Structurally 1,5 billion for primary and secondary education

The government is investing 1,5 billion euros in basic education. A large part of that amount will go towards closing the pay gap between primary and secondary education. In addition, 300 million euros will be made available on a structural basis to combat work pressure in secondary education. The collective labor agreement negotiations in secondary education continue.

Education minister Dennis Wiersma presented the Education agreement that he concluded together with the trade unions and employers' associations in education. In a letter The minister wrote to the House of Representatives that education and politics had had difficulties with each other for too long: 'Troubled years, in which teachers felt misunderstood and there was too little money for schools. Let's put that behind us.'

In the autumn of 2021, the previous cabinet already said 500 million euros for closing the pay gap† The current government supplements that amount to more than 900 million with which the gap has been bridged† In addition, secondary education receives 300 million euros annually to tackle the workload. The minister writes that the media has paid a lot of attention to teachers at primary schools, but less to teachers at secondary schools: 'but there too the workload is high and teachers face major challenges'.

As before in primary education, these work pressure resources go directly to the schools without the intervention of boards. For the AOb it is important that this money only becomes available after a new collective labor agreement for secondary education has been concluded. AObdirector Jelmer Evers: “Otherwise it will disappear in the big pot, the lump sum. We want this investment to really end up with the staff.”

'Finally there is structural money against work pressure in secondary education, it is now our task to ensure that these euros are well spent'

According to Evers, it is an important choice for politicians to make money available for this now. “Finally there is structural funding for work pressure in secondary education. It is now our task to ensure that these euros are well spent. We will be negotiating this with employers in the coming weeks.” The AOb also wants to make a good salary agreement as part of the new collective labor agreement. Evers: “I really hope that all parties have the same priority as we do: less work pressure for the teachers.”

Teacher shortage

With this Education Agreement, Minister Wiersma wants to tackle the teacher shortage. Because schools with vulnerable students in particular lack teachers, the minister will invest more than 2023 million euros from 150 to structurally better reward teachers at those schools. The current, temporary labor market allowance is funded from the National Education Programme. Wiersma will, however, await the evaluation of the current allowance and, together with the social partners, will look into how teachers at these schools can structurally receive a better pay.

The agreement also includes agreements on training. All primary school teachers will be given more time for development and further training: an extra 16 hours per year, worth 118 million euros.

AObChairman Tamar van Gelder: “With or without corona, it has long been clear that Dutch education needs to improve. We don't have enough people for the important work we want to do. Long seemed our members crying in the wilderness. Everything was under control. During every election, everyone from left to right emphasized the importance of education, but in the meantime hardly any additional resources came in.”

'Business can only really change if we have enough colleagues to implement those changes'

Van Gelder continues: “Fortunately, these resources are now available, which will hopefully make education attractive to more people again. Things can only really change if we have enough colleagues to implement those changes. We now have a plan in which we as AOb will ask colleagues every time: will this help? The goal is clear: better education for everyone, because that's what we did this work for. But for us, the top priority is: every measure must help to make education better.”

Read all about closing the pay gap

Would you like to know more about the Education Agreement? Follow Monday 25 April at 20.00 pm AOb- webinar

 

 

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