Teachers’ strike: Few strikers, straw hats and diving masks in the demonstrations

A little-followed strike, but demonstrators with straw hats and diving masks, in an allusion to Ibiza, the vacation spot of the Minister of National Education: teachers marched this Thursday in France, a new day of action for protest against the management of the Covid-19 health crisis at school.

“Blanquer resignation, puppet protocol”, “Blanquer “fucks” us”, “Ibiza-gate” or even “Jean-Michel Guetta does not hear us! “, could we read on signs in the Parisian demonstration, which joined the place of the Sorbonne to the ministry. Other rallies took place in several cities in France. They were 750 people to participate in the demonstration in the capital, according to the Paris police headquarters. On January 13, they were nearly 78,000 to demonstrate in France, including 8,200 in Paris, according to the Ministry of the Interior.

The strike was not followed very well either: the ministry counted only 1.15% of teachers of the first degree (kindergarten and elementary) and 2.18% in the second degree (college and high school). Last week, they were more than 38% in the first degree and nearly 24% in the secondary, still according to the Ministry of Education. Nearly 78,000 people had marched in France at the call of all the unions, then indicated the Ministry of the Interior.

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“Today we wanted to respond to the attitude of Jean-Michel Blanquer who allows himself to go to Ibiza on vacation while the teachers in France are suffering. (…) We want to insist on the fact that the contempt is very real, ”says Laura, a teacher specializing in rased (specialized support networks for students in difficulty) in the 93, with sunglasses, hat, sarong and flower necklace around the neck. A few steps away, a demonstrator wears a hat, mask, snorkel and flower necklace, with a sign around her neck: “Hands up, rabbit skin, Jean-Michel in a swimsuit”. “Jean-Michel Guetta, minister in Ibiza, we no longer want to work for you! », sang around thirty teachers, with straw hats and diving masks, in front of the rectorate in Bordeaux.

In Rennes, they were about sixty gathered in front of a banner “Blanquer resignation”. “If there is a reluctance from colleagues to strike (this Thursday), everyone will be present on January 27,” assured Marc, 32, a teacher at a college in Fougères (Ille-et-Vilaine), making reference to the interprofessional event scheduled for the end of January. In recent days, some of the organizations (FSU, CGT Educ’action, FO and SUD Education, the FCPE, the first organization of parents of pupils, and the high school student movements FIDL, MNL and La Voix lycéenne) had called for “continuing the mobilization”, committing “to a new day of action, including through the strike”. This is, once again, to protest against the waltz of health protocols in schools.

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For the unions and organizations which called for the strike on Thursday, “the chaos generated by the management of the health crisis deserves strong responses, beyond the commitments made” following the demonstration on January 13. “The goal was not to redo the 13th, but to maintain the mobilization and the pressure, to show that the personnel are not fooled by the announcements and are preparing to succeed on January 27 with all the sectors”, explained Michael Marcilloux, co-secretary general of the CGT educ’action, in the Parisian procession.

After the mobilization of January 13, the unions had been received by Prime Minister Jean Castex and the Minister of Education, who had promised “five million FFP2 masks” for teachers and more replacements for absent teachers. “Not sufficient” announcements for the unions, which called for “creating all the positions necessary to ensure replacements” and “providing schools and establishments with protective equipment in sufficient numbers, well beyond the volumes announced”.

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