Thursday, 18 October 2007

Teachers not just interested in bread and butter issues

The FNV-affiliated AOb (77,000 members) has been growing for a couple of years. CNV Onderwijs (54,000 members) is losing members, and is asking both members and non-members who work in education what kind of union it should be.
CNV Onderwijs president Marleen Barth (photo) told Trouw that retiring teachers are leaving the union, while young people are less inclined to join organisations such as unions. In addition, for those who work part time, membership may be too expensive.
In order to find out what teachers expect from their union, a questionnaire has been posted at the union’s website. The union wants to know whether it should focus on services (treating members as customers); on values (an Amnesty International fighting for good education); on workplace representation and labour conditions; or on social activities for its members.
Meanwhile, CNV Onderwijs’ counterpart AOb is growing. According to its president, Walter Dresscher, this is the result of a change of course it made a few years ago. Rather than focusing just on labour conditions, it now also focuses on its members’ profession.
“Members value good representation. But they find it at least as important to discuss their work. Teachers are not just interested in bread and butter issues. It is also important to realise your ideals in your work”.
Source: Trouw, CNV Onderwijs

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