According to the FNV trade union federation, the nationwide childcare workers strike for better working conditions is affecting 538 childcare facilities in the Netherlands. Last week’s regional actions in Noord-Holland and Almere, which comprised 132 locations, prompted the strike. ‘We want people to know that this is how child care workers feel.’ To do that, we don’t need to shut down all of our locations,’ a FNV official told NOS.
The union claims that the sector’s new collective bargaining agreement, which it has not signed like other unions, does not go far enough to reduce work pressure, causing the sector’s first strike action in 20 years. Employers should select for smaller groups of children in creches and reintroduce group assistants, according to the FNV, so that child care professionals may focus on the children rather than undertaking home chores. The strike, according to a representative for the parents’ organization Boink, is causing parents “annoyance.” According to him, the most common question parents had was whether or not they had to pay for the strike day.
Hanneke van den Berg, a former childcare worker, bemoaned the absence of parental support, calling it “depressingly familiar.” ‘ Workplace stress is a long-standing issue. Parents should assist and collaborate with those who care for and educate their children in order to increase quality. However, you must first accord the profession the respect it deserves.