Higher pay may still not attract enough professionals

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Newspapers report on how the new agreement between the teachers’ union and education minister may not solve shortage problem.

17 April 2008

THE NETHERLANDS - Several papers report that Education Minister Ronald Plasterk and the teachers' unions finally managed to reach an agreement on pay and conditions early on Wednesday morning.

However, the new agreement will not solve all the problems plaguing the Dutch education system and the headlines reflect this.

Trouw goes with, "agreement is a step in the right direction" and de Volkskrant has "nice plan, even if it is late". NRC.next sums it up nicely with, "the money's nice but most of the teachers are due for pension". Many of the country's teachers are about to hit retirement age and the shortage of teachers is threatening to become chronic.

NRC.next writes that teachers will be getting a significant pay rise but that the question remains as to whether it will make teaching a more attractive profession.

The demand for more pay and better conditions was prompted by the shortage of teachers threatening the education system. The idea behind it being that if teachers were better paid, the benefits were better and the opportunities to earn more were improved then more people would decide to join the profession instead of earning three times as much working in the private sector.

The leader of one union said the agreement was, "most certainly not the definitive solution for the shortage of teachers" while another union leader said it was "an important step in the right direction".

[Radio Netherlands / Jacqueline Carver / Expatica]

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