March 22, 2023

Strike at school: a very popular mobilization this Thursday, January 31?

As on January 19, teachers are called to go on strike and come to demonstrate in large numbers this Tuesday, January 31, to protest against the pension reform.

[Mis à jour le 30 janvier à 14h59] This Tuesday, January 31, many demonstrators are expected in the streets of the capital and throughout France. As during the strong mobilization of January 19, the teaching staff will be present in the processions and many schools will be closed.

The Snuipp-FSU, the first primary school union, published a press release on Monday to indicate that half of the primary school teachers will be on strike this Tuesday, January 31. The same union had 70% of strikers on January 19.

The mobilization has already started this Monday, January 30 with blockades of certain Parisian high schools blocked by high school students. “It’s our future and it also concerns our teachers or our parents. It’s everywhere, around us and it’s very important that we mobilize” explained Monday to France info a student.

One joint statement signed by the SUD-education unions and the Union of National Education staff (SNALC) published on January 23 confirmed the desire of the teachers’ unions to be heard. A feeling of anger shared by SNUipp-FSU, the majority union of the first degree, which in a text published on its website calls on teachers and carers of students with disabilities (AESH) to demonstrate. In this press release, the union said that for “school staff, the non-recognition of the specificity of trades is an additional reason to be on strike on Tuesday January 31 to roll back this project and impose other choices of justice. social”.

We must “amplify the movement […] by making the strike of January 31 an even more massive day than that of January 19”, further bid the FSU in a communicated shared by SNUipp-FSU General Secretary Guislaine David. A declaration which echoes that of the boss of the CGT who, on behalf of the intersyndicale, called on all sectors including the school to “make the motivations of these strikes heard a little louder”, on the antenna of France info January 25.

The strike of January 31 followed in the schools?

The call for a school strike was launched on January 20 and since then, behind the scenes and in the media, the unions have been hammering out their messages to push National Education staff to mobilize. It is still too early to say with certainty whether or not the social movement, third since the start of 2023, will be followed. Still, the anger of teachers and the lack of satisfactory responses to their demands could push them to pound the pavement again. Especially since to alleviate the financial difficulties of some – going on strike amounts to depriving yourself of a day’s salary – a “strike fund” has been opened by SUD-Education.

Teachers and other National Education professionals were among the most mobilized workers during the January 19 strike. The unions had counted 70% of strikers in the first degree and 65% in the secondary. Figures significantly revised downwards by the calculations of the Ministry of National Education according to which 42.35% of teachers were absent in schools and 34.66% in colleges and high schools.

Schools blocked by strikes and high school students?

If the teachers and staff of National Education are invited to participate in the strike of January 31 by the unions, the high school students are also ready to mobilize. After a meeting, the high school inter-union even formalized the call for the demonstration and the blocking of schools, in particular high schools, on Tuesday 31 “even the day before, the 30, to open the week of mobilization”. The inter-union also specifies in its press release that in the event of a massive strike which would make the blockage “superfluous”, the young people are invited to “group together to go directly to a demonstration, converging alongside the teachers”.

Why is the strike organized in the schools?

As during the previous mobilization, teachers and National Education staff essentially want to oppose the pension reform, a demand common to all sectors. The education unions have a lot to say about the bill, which they consider “unacceptable”. Among the points of the reform criticized: the raising of the legal retirement age to 64, the non-recognition of the arduous nature of work in the National Education system or even the failure to take into account long careers which further push back the retirement age at 67 for many.

Other demands made for a long time by the teachers’ unions must also be defended during the January 31 strike: salary increases, obtaining better working conditions, but also the fight against another reform by Emmanuel Macron. , that on the redesign of the vocational path deemed unsuited to the needs of students.

Can children be welcomed at school during a strike?

Strikes at school are synonymous with headaches for parents who do not know if their child will have class and even less if they will be able to be welcomed by the school. However, a 2008 law provides a solution for parents who are often taken by surprise: the minimum reception service. As soon as there are more than 25% of teachers on strike in a school, the school must, at a minimum, keep the students in their enclosure. The law in question provides that “a pupil in primary school (nursery or elementary) must be welcomed during class time, even if his teacher or mistress is absent. This reception service is free. It is provided differently. in public schools and in private schools under contract”.

If such a service is guaranteed in primary schools, it is not provided in colleges or high schools where older students are also more independent. The obligation of minimum reception service also does not concern extracurricular services such as day care or the canteen.

The January 31 strike being announced more than a week in advance, parents of students have more leeway to make arrangements. And the fallback solutions could be even more adapted to two days of the mobilization, at least for the pupils educated in the first degree. Nursery and elementary school teachers have the obligation to declare themselves individually as strikers to the management of the establishment if they intend to participate in the mobilization. Parents can therefore, two days before the strike, inquire with the schools to find out whether the children will be welcomed or not.

In colleges and high schools, teachers have no obligation to declare themselves strikers and students and parents find out on D-Day if classes are assured. However, it is not uncommon for teachers to notify their students of their absence in advance via the digital platforms used by schools. Finally, the canteen and daycare services are not obliged to give notice of the strike movement either. It is up to the management of the establishment to identify the strikers and inform them and their families.

What will happen in schools after January 31?

The day of January 31 will not be the last date to be included in the school calendar, in fact the SUD Education union has already anticipated the continuation by announcing the renewal of the strike beyond. SOUTH education claims “the abandonment of the reform project and retirement at 60 years maximum and 37.5 annuities” with the slogan “not a day more, not a euro less!”.

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