Wednesday 28 July 2021

Childcare workers go on first strike in 20 years

Thursday’s national childcare workers strike for better working conditions is affecting 538 childcare locations in the Netherlands, the FNV trade union federation has said.

The strike comes in the wake of last week’s regional actions in Noord-Holland and Almere which involved some 132 locations.

‘We want people to know that this is what people who work in child care feel. We don’t need to close down all locations to achieve that,’ an FNV spokesman told broadcaster NOS.

The union said the new collective work agreement for the sector, which unlike other unions it has not signed, does too little to relieve work pressure, prompting the sector’s first strike action in 20 years.

The FNV is proposing employers opt for smaller groups of children in creches and re-introduce group assistants so child care workers can concentrate on the children instead of doing household tasks.

A spokesman for parents’ association Boink said the strike was be ‘annoying’ for affected parents. The main question parents asked was whether or not they had to pay for the strike day,  he said.

Former childcare worker Hanneke van den Berg deplored the lack of support from parents and said it all sounded ‘depressingly familiar’.

‘Work pressure is a long standing problem. Parents should support the people who look after and teach their children and work with them to improve quality. But for that you need to give the profession the status it deserves,’ she told DutchNews.nl.

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