Teachers agree pay, reject shorter hols

Teaching unions have reacted angrily to a government commission’s suggestion that the secondary school summer holiday be cut from seven to six weeks.

‘There will be no eating away at holidays,’ the general teachers union AOb says in Wednesday’s Volkskrant.
The commission says the extra week would be given back to pupils during the year. On those days teachers could hold meetings and go on training exercises. At the moment, these activities lead to unexpected days off for thousands of pupils every year.
At the same time, the commission recommends cutting the number of compulsory teaching hours in ordinary secondary education from 1,040 to 1,000. Ministers’ efforts to ensure schools meet the 1,040 hour standard led to widespread protest from pupils in 2007 who complained about being given pointless lessons.
Junior education minister Marja van Bijsterveldt called the commission’s proposals ‘daring’. She will make her response known in February.
Meanwhile, two other teaching unions, CNV Onderwijs and CMHF, have reached agreement with employers on a new pay and conditions deal for the secondary school sector.
The deal includes a 24-hour reduction in working hours and extra help for new teachers. Teachers pay will go up 7% over two years. The AOb backs the pay rise but wants more emphasis on reducing the pressure of work.
The deal will be put to teachers and school managers for approval in January.

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