Why the staff of the National Education, the parents of the pupils and the students are called to strike Tuesday

Why the staff of the National Education, the parents of the pupils and the students are called to strike Tuesday

Teachers, school nurses, parents and students are called to demonstrate for an improvement in working conditions and a different management of lessons during the Covid-19 epidemic.

A teacher demonstrates in Toulouse (Haute-Garonne), November 10, 2020, to protest against the continuation of classes during the Covid-19 pandemic.  (ALAIN PITTON / NURPHOTO / AFP)

A day of mobilization to express their fed up. National Education staff are called on strike on Tuesday January 26 to once again denounce their working conditions, which have deteriorated further with the Covid-19 pandemic. Six trade unions (FSU, FO, CGT, SUD, SNLC, Snalc), representing three out of four teachers, are calling for a strike. Parents and students should join them in protesting the management of the health crisis by the executive. Franceinfo details the demands of this new day of mobilization.

To obtain a salary increase

The main objective of this new day of mobilization is to obtain an increase in the salaries of National Education employees. Those of French teachers are 7% lower at the start of their careers than the average for Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. In September, Jean-Michel Blanquer had announced 400 million euros of revaluation, visible “From January” on the payslips. This revaluation must be paid in the form of a declining bonus, allocated in priority to young teachers, but “69% of staff are not affected”, according to the Unitary Trade Union Federation (FSU).

“It is a derisory sum compared to the more than one million one hundred and thirty-thousand staff in the National Education”, agrees with the SUD Education union in a press release. In November, Guislaine David, secretary general and spokesperson for SNUipp-FSU, already pointed out the lack of attractiveness of these professions, linked according to her to the absence of real salary increases. “We have fewer and fewer teachers and young people who want to become one, she pointed out on franceinfo. The fact of putting just 100 euros on the first step will not be enough if we really want to attract, after five years of study, to the teaching profession. ”

In addition, the “Educational assistants (AED), accompanying persons for students with disabilities (AESH), administrative staff and trainee teachers whose salaries are the lowest are excluded from the payment of the bonus”, notes the union organization. The AEDs have already gone on strike at the beginning of December and on January 19 to denounce the precariousness of their status and their low level of remuneration, demanding tenure, RTL notes.

Other problems, according to the unions: this revaluation does not compensate for the drop in purchasing power linked to inflation, the civil service index point remains frozen and the equipment bonus announced by the executive will not be paid neither to contract workers nor to teacher-librarians. For this new call for mobilization, “A third of teachers will be mobilized” is “More than 100,000 primary care workers”, according to Snuipp-FSU, the first primary school union.

To denounce the deterioration of working conditions

Another subject of tension, the working conditions in the school environment. “Lhe Parliament adopted a budget which is far from reflecting the educational ambition that our country needs. Indeed, it does not take the measure of the increase in numbers, the health situation which particularly imposes measures to reduce the number of students per class in the short and medium term and the state of fatigue of staff, exhausted by years of deteriorating working conditions ”, writes the FSU in a press release published upstream of the mobilization.

According to the organization, “1,883 jobs” have been deleted “In middle and high schools at the start of the 2021 school year”. The inter-union which calls for a strike on Tuesday therefore calls for recruitments “emergency” and many, “In particular by resorting to complementary lists”.

More broadly, this mobilization underlines the distrust of the staff of the National Education vis-à-vis its supervisory minister, Jean-Michel Blanquer. According to an Ipsos poll for FSU released on December 1, 77% of teachers and 52% of non-teachers believe their expectations will not be met. “Not taken into account” by the Minister. Some 68% of teachers also believe that the reforms undertaken over the past three years “Going the wrong way”. However, “The health crisis does not slow down any more the implementation of the reforms which were rejected by the teachers: the reform of the lycée, that of the vocational lycée”, points out the specialized site Educational Café, which also evokes “A reform announced in kindergarten which does not collect more support”.

To protest against the management of the health crisis

For trade unions, the health crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has further degraded the working conditions of National Education staff. “While educational inequalities have widened further during the health crisis, the government should choose a massive recruitment of teachers to improve the quality of student learning, but also to limit health risks, by reducing class size ”, says SNUipp-FSU in a letter to parents of students (document PDF).

The anger is all the greater since 81% of teachers feel bad or very badly protected in class in the face of Covid-19, according to a survey carried out in October by the union organization among 10,419 teachers. “The protocol, which was a little more serious at the start of the year, has been lightened in all the barrier gestures that we may have. We cannot ensure physical distancing between students, but also with teachers ”, explained Guislaine David, spokesperson for SNUipp-FSU. In early November, teachers had already gone on strike to denounce the lack of resources and staff to deal with the health crisis.

This time, they will be supported by school nurses, who say they are monopolized by the management of the health crisis in college and high school. According to Saphia Guereschi, general secretary of the National Union of Nursing Health Advisors (SNICS-FSU, majority), they must manage the “Screening and tracing phases”, to the detriment of supporting students. “The serious consequence of this: our young people, who are doing very badly, can no longer be welcomed as they should during consultations in the establishments because we are not replaced, we have to react very quickly”, she warns.

The unions are also protesting against the measures imposed in higher education, where most courses have been given at a distance for several months. FSU points “Exhaustion” of staff faced with the crisis, but also “The psychological and financial precariousness of students”. The latter should join the mobilization on Tuesday, six days after mobilizing against the devastating effects of the Covid epidemic on their daily lives.

“Last week’s demonstration allowed us to get things done but not to make ourselves fully heard, so we are continuing to mobilize so that students can come back to class half the time in attendance and the other in distance”, explained to AFP Mélanie Luce, president of the UNEF. The goal according to her, “Is really to avoid massive failure”. “Reconfinement or not, students need to see their teachers”, she pleaded. The main federation of parents of FCPE students also calls for a strike on Tuesday, to ask the authorities to “Better anticipate the health crisis”.