Teacher trials: full-time bonus experiments to start

Photo: Depositphotos.com
Photo: Depositphotos.com

Schools minister Dennis Wiersma is planning to experiment with bonuses for teachers who shift from working three or four days a week to full time positions, the Telegraaf reported on Monday.

MPs had earlier called on the cabinet to look into the idea of bonuses for new full timers in an effort to combat shortages in a variety of sectors.

Wiersma told the paper in an interview that the shortage of teachers is urgent and that all options are now under consideration.

The teaching and healthcare sectors in particular are dominated by part time workers and some experts say that if they could be encouraged to work more hours, a large part of the the staff shortages could be eradicated.

The education ministry must now decide how big the bonus should be and if it should only be applied to people who work full time, or an extra day, the Telegraaf said.

‘We need a lot of people and it is not realistic to think that we are suddenly going to find them to work in education,’ Wiersma said. ‘So we have to mainly do it with the people that we already have.’

Just 25% of primary school and 40% of secondary school teachers work full time, the paper said.

The government’s socio-economic think tank SCP said earlier it had doubts about the effect of a bonus because the concept of working part time is so ingrained in the Netherlands, particularly among women.

The Dutch human rights council has also said that giving a bonus to full-timers could be seen as discriminatory because it would differentiate between full and part time members of staff. In addition, it would discriminate against people who have been full time teachers for years.

Schools which want to take part in the trials have until December 1 to apply.

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