Teachers in the Netherlands, from two unions, representing primary and secondary school teachers and university lecturers, joined together in a strike on 15 March, 2019. In the first joint industrial action of teachers across grade levels, they demanded more funding for the entire education sector. Over 40,000 educators from all over the country participated in a rally in The Hague. More than half of the primary schools in the country were closed.

The unions are demanding 4 billion euros be invested in education  for increased wages, reduced workloads, and hiring more teachers. A third union in the education sector, while expressing support for the aims of the strike, did not endorse the action.

Previously the government tried to eliminate a 15% tax on dividend payments made by Dutch corporations. As is done globally, the Dutch government claimed the tax break will stimulate business and warns the policy is essential to keep large corporations from leaving the country.  abolishing the tax, large companies would leave the Netherlands. However, the measure was dropped after a public outcry.

Striking Dutch educators have noted they have drawn inspiration for their walkout from the #RedforEd movement sweeping the United States.

Photo: Marcel Krijgsman / Hollandse Hoogte