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Bringing together teachers, school nurses, high school students and students, demonstrations are planned for Tuesday in Paris and in several cities in France, as well as a strike movement. Among the demands are an increase in teachers’ salaries and the return of students to universities.
Affected by the health crisis, national education staff, joined by school nurses, but also by high school students and students, are called on to strike and mobilize throughout France on Tuesday January 26 to make their voices heard, on the eve of a possible reconfinement.
At the call of an inter-union composed in particular of the FSU, the CGT and the FO, parades must be held in Paris and in several other cities. In the capital, the demonstration is due to leave Luxembourg at 1 p.m. to move towards rue de Grenelle, headquarters of the Ministry of National Education.
“This is a crucial moment for education, there is a real anger rising among teachers who are very worried”, assures Benoît Teste, secretary general of the FSU, with reference in particular to the Grenelle teachers’ meeting launched by the minister National Education which is due to end in February.
According to him, “what is undertaken by the ministry is absolutely not satisfactory, it is essentially communication with a surface upgrading which is very insufficient, where it would be necessary to invest massively to allow recruiting in the long term and attracting to education jobs, “he explained last week at an online press conference.
In November, the ministry announced upgrades from 2021, mainly targeted at the youngest. But the unions hope that a multiannual law, promised at the time of the pension reform, will come to devote lasting and substantial upgrades for the entire profession.
French teachers’ salaries are 7% lower at the start of their careers than the average for Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.
A feeling of abandonment of staff and students
For this new call for mobilization, “a third of teachers will be mobilized”, according to Snuipp-FSU, the first primary union.
“In this difficult context of a deterioration of the health situation and an uncertainty about a possible reconfinement, that makes more than 100,000 people of the first degree who will be on strike Tuesday”, continues in a statement the union, which demands ” an emergency plan for the school and real protection of staff and students in order to keep schools open “.
The school “is facing a serious and unprecedented crisis where the success of the pupils is threatened, while the personnel are on the front line and feel abandoned. Responses to the height of the challenges are necessary to allow a completely different public service. ‘education’, asks Snuipp.
Students are also expected to join them, six days after mobilizing against the devastating effects of the Covid epidemic on their daily lives.
>> See also on France 24: IT’S IN FRANCE – Generation Covid: students pay a high price
“Last week’s demonstration allowed us to obtain things, but not to make ourselves fully heard, so we are continuing the mobilization so that students can return to class half the time in attendance and the other in distance” , explained to AFP Mélanie Luce, president of the UNEF.
The goal, she says, “is really to avoid massive failure.” “Reconfinement or not, students need to see their teachers,” she pleaded.
For school nurses, “the cup is full”
The unions denounce the management of the health crisis in schools, starting with nurses who call for action on Tuesday alongside teachers.
For Saphia Guereschi, general secretary of the National Union of Health Nursing Advisors (SNICS-FSU, majority), nurses in college or high school are monopolized by the management of the health crisis and must manage the “phases of screening and tracing” , 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 it should during consultations in the establishments, because we are not replaced, we must react very quickly”, she warns.
Saphia Guereschi insists: “The school nurses will be at the head of the procession, very represented because there, the cup is full”.
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”.