“Disdain! “, ” Fed up ! », « It’s a monster mess! » The anger is frank, this Thursday, January 13, at the microphone that the eleven union representatives take turns. Gathered in a general assembly on the royal square of Peyrou, in Montpellier (Hérault), starting point of the demonstration, the unions of education personnel did not mince their words.
While at the national level, nearly 40% of teachers were on strike in nursery and elementary schools, according to the Ministry of Education, union representatives were to be received Thursday afternoon by Jean Castex.
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“For two years, we have been present, we have adapted, but today we can no longer accept this chaos, punctuated by orders and counter-orders”, denounces Anthony de Souza, departmental secretary of the Hérault of the SNUipp-FSU (Unitary national union of teachers, school teachers), about the waltz of health protocols, which have been linked since the start of the school year.
Explosion of exasperations
Gathered in an inter-union representing 95% of education personnel, the eleven unions are united. “This unity happened naturally and quickly. She was first born from the base, with an explosion of exasperations, explains Matthieu Brabant, national secretary of the CGT-Educ Action, and teacher of mathematics and physical sciences in high school. Even private schools are on strike! »
Among the reasons for mobilization, the lack of protection of personnel (purifiers, CO2 sensors, FFP2 masks, etc.) but above all of replacements available in schools. “The right to education, but also the guarantee of an inclusive school are not guaranteed”, denounces a mother of a primary school student, grabbing the microphone. “Blanquer trumpets that the schools are open but he empties them, accuses Sabine Raynaud, deputy secretary of Snudi-FO 34. In December, hundreds of school days were lost because there were no substitutes! »
Children, “adjustment variables”
A few minutes from the start of the procession, the crowd becomes more compact. “Lightened protocol, sacrificed personnel”, can we read on the signs, brandished at arm’s length. Distributing leaflets explaining the reasons for the strike, several parent-teacher associations wanted to be present alongside the teachers. “We have the impression that children and schools are the adjustment variable of this health crisis. We suffer decisions as they fall. School dropout is gaining ground”, fears Murielle Kosman, secretary of the parents’ association “A school, a future”, also a speech therapist.
→ ANALYSIS. Covid-19: the school about to “crack” under the weight of the health protocol
As the procession rushes through the streets of Montpellier, teachers and school staff rub shoulders with families worried about the schooling of children. “In March, the baccalaureate exams arrive. However, since September, high school students have not had the necessary conditions for its preparation at all. We are asking for the postponement of these events to June., abounds Karim El Ouardi, academic president of Snac and Spanish teacher in a professional high school, walking behind a large banner “Stop contempt”.
It is all the support for the students that is in question, deplores another trade unionist: “We lack substitutes, AESH (“accompanying students with disabilities”, editor’s note), nurses and school psychologists, even though we have never needed them so much. » In Hérault, nearly 80% of strikers were counted in primary schools according to the unions, 50% in high schools and 70% in colleges. Trade unionists, who hail a “historic strike by its unitary character”, now plan to“register the mobilization in the long term”.