Striking teachers block ministry with toy tractors

This 6 November 2019 Dutch regional TV video is about teachers striking in Rotterdam. The trade unions expected only a few hundred teachers marching in a local protest demonstration. However, thousands turned up, in yellow vests and with signs and banners. Police told the marchers they should stay on the sidewalks. The teachers did not obey that, and traffic at the Erasmus bridge stopped.

This 6 November 2019 Dutch regional TV video shows thousands of Rotterdam teachers blocking Erasmus bridge traffic.

This video also shows the teachers at the Erasmus bridge, with motorists honking to show their support of the strike.

Last week, the Dutch government said after negotiations with trade union leaders that they would spend some extra money on education: only once, for this year, not for the years after that. Some trade union leaders then said that today’s strike was off. Then, a small union, not involved in the negotiations, said they would strike anyway, as planned. Then, the rank and file of the biggest teachers’ union, the AOb, rebelled. The AOb chair, who had signed the deal with the government while bypassing the full union executive council, resigned. The AOb said the strike would continue. Then, the usually more conservative Christian teachers union CNV said they supported the strike as well.

Teachers say that their wages are too low, classes are too big, causing stress. A one-off injection of some money for one year only does not solve these long-term problems.

There are big demonstrations today in many places. NOS TV says there are 5,000 at a rally in Leeuwarden; with thousands more outside who cannot get into the venue.

Ten thousand teachers demonstrate in Amsterdam.

Also in The Hague.

Toy tractors in The Hague, ANP photo

Striking teachers ‘blocked’ the Dutch education ministry in The Hague with over 150 toy tractors; a reference to earlier farmers’ protests with real tractors.

This 6 November 2019 Dutch The Hague regional TV video shows an interview with a trade union leader.

Dutch education minister Slob claimed today that five of the six unions who had originally signed the deal still back it. That is misleading. Not only the biggest union, AOB, also the second biggest union CNV has dissociated itself from the insufficient government policy. The other four unions are small.

Dutch NOS TV says that 80% of all schools in the Netherlands are on strike today. 85% of parents support the striking teachers.

This photo shows parents demonstrating along with the teachers.

Thousands of teachers in the Netherlands at 4,300 primary and secondary schools, 80 percent of all schools across the country, staged a one-day strike November 6. The action was the latest in a series of mass protests across the country, which has been dubbed an “autumn of discontent.” It took place during a two-day parliamentary debate on the education ministry budget for 2020: here.

5 thoughts on “Striking teachers block ministry with toy tractors

  1. Pingback: Colombians strike against right-wing government | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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