CNV Onderwijs - Christian Teachers' Union in the Netherlands

CNV Onderwijs (CNV Education) is the Christian teachers union in The Netherlands.
The union is a result of a merger between a Catholic teachers union and a Protestant Christian teachers union in the year 2000. The history of those organizations goes back to the year 1854. CNV Onderwijs has approximately 53.000 members in all sectors of education, from primary to higher education. Members are teachers, but also auxiliary staff and principals and other education personnel.

There are different sectors in the organization, such as primary, secundary, vocational and higher education. In addition there are certain structures for retired members, auxiliary staff and principals. Special attention is also focused on education of children with special needs, and on women, youngsters (students) gay teachers and teachers from ethnic minorities.

Principles and objectives.
CNV Onderwijs is in its work inspired by the Gospel and the Christian social ideology based upon it. (article 2 of the By-laws)

The objectives are:
Standing up for good employment conditions, such as satisfactory job content, good working terms, working conditions and relationship.

  • Promoting solidarity between the employed and the unemployed. This implies asserting the positions of members, who want to work in education (c.q. students) and those who have worked in education and now are retired.
    Promoting a fair distribution of work and income.
  • Standing up for education and educational facilities and in particular promoting and maintaining confessional or ideological oriented education in the school system.
  • Promoting the general appreciation of education and educational personnel, through the advancement and improvement of educational quality.  

CNV Onderwijs is affiliated with CNV, the National Federation of Christian Trade Unions. In this federation workers in public and private/market sector are organized. CNV is the second largest confederation in the Netherlands and has 350.000 members.  CNV is affiliated to the worldwide International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).  CNV International is the solidarity organization of CNV. CNV Onderwijs participates in the board of CNV International.

Education in the Netherlands. 
The Netherlands has an exceptional educational system. The Dutch law guarantees parents and churches - under certain conditions -  to found a school, which can be adjusted to their need in the field of religious education or a specific educational concept, such as Dalton, Montessori or Steiner. These 'private' schools are 100 % financed by the National Ministry of Education; they are so called 'private owned and public paid'. They are also public controlled. About 30 % of the schools are Catholic, 30 % are Protestant, 10 % are interconfessional, based on other religions or based on a certain educational principle. About 30 % of the schools are public schools, governed by local communities. Members of CNV Onderwijs have their jobs in the private owned / publicly paid schools and in the public schools. 

International affairs of CNV Onderwijs
CNV Onderwijs is a full member of Education International (EI).  Education International organizes 30 million teachers and education workers and has 348 member organizations in 166 countries.  On the European level CNV Onderwijs is member of the European Trade Union for Education (ETUCE). ETUCE represents the education personnel in consultations with the European Union.  As far as ideological aims CNV Onderwijs maintains relations with the World Union of Catholic Teachers (WUCT) and the International Association for Christian Education (IV)

International solidarity 
Through the membership of CNV International, CNV Onderwijs provides moral and material support for teacher unions and colleagues in Africa, Central/ Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America. CNV Onderwijs is involved in the EI - programm EFAIDS (Education for All / Hiv/Aids), supported by the Dutch ministry of developmental cooperation. The union also participates in the Dutch coalition of the Global Campaign for Education (GCE).   CNV Onderwijs cooperates with the non governmental foundation Edukans. This organization supports educational projects in favour of underprivileged children and youngsters in developing countries. 

Important adresses CNV Onderwijs
General Secretary:            Mr. Cees Kuiper

Post adress:                     Postbus 2510
                                         NL-3500 GM Utrecht

Visiting adress:                 Tiberdreef 4
                                         NL-3561 GG  Utrecht

Tel.:                                  +31 30 7511700 
Fax :                                 +31 30 7511709


Committee of international affairs: Mrs. Francis Huisman, secretary 

Other websites with information in English:

Federation CNV:       

CNV Internationaal: 


Education International: