According to the Ministry of National Education, nearly 26% of teachers went on strike on Tuesday, January 31, to protest against the pension reform debated within the government. Update on the latest news.
[Mise à jour du 31 janvier 2023 à 18h26] The January 31 strike brought together a good number of demonstrators, in particular in the National Education and in the other sectors. According to the CGT, 500,000 demonstrators were present in the streets in Paris. Mobilization was on the rise in most cities. The participation of young people also made noise in the processions organized almost everywhere in France, but also around schools. Many disturbances have been observed in schools. As a reminder, this national strike was initiated by the intersyndicale with a common objective: to encourage the government to abandon its pension reform project, and in particular the measure on the postponement of the legal retirement age at 64. After this second day of interprofessional mobilization, which counts as the third for National Education, are new strikes planned in the coming weeks?
What participation rate in schools for the January 31 strike?
The Ministry of National Education and Youth unveiled the mobilization figures in schools at midday: on average, the participation rate was 23.52% in National Education and 25.92% for teachers. In detail, in the first degree, 26.65% of teachers were on strike, and in the second degree, the rate was reduced to 25.22%. Figures below the mobilization of January 19, and far from those announced by the unions which estimated on Monday that half of the teachers would be on strike.
Towards a new mobilization in schools after January 31?
The mobilization against the pension reform does not seem to be over, especially at the school level. Prior to the January 31 strike, the SUD Education union had clearly indicated its desire to renew the movement in schools after January 31. Some education trade unions have already announced that they will meet again next week to talk about future actions. In any case, at the level of the inter-union mobilization does not intend to stop there. “There will be consequences, if the government does not change and does not listen”said Philippe Martinez, secretary general of the CGT, on RMC BFMTV this Tuesday morning. The decision should be taken this Tuesday, January 31 in the evening.
The call of AG 93 tonight. 11 establishments had already decided on the renewal on Wednesday or Thursday, and the GA resulted in a clear call to meet in GA of establishments and cities, to put the renewal of the strike to the vote. It is built, in unity! pic.twitter.com/5yLqAlGJiH
— Jules Siran (@JulesSiran) January 30, 2023
Strike in high schools: blockage and strong mobilization among young people
For the strike day of January 31, in several cities in France, groups of high school students once again blocked the entrance to their school by blocking and brandishing signs. In total, these are nearly 200 high schools that have been blocked, announced The high school student voice, the first union of high school students. On the ministry side, we are talking about 32 high schools blocked or disrupted during the day, involving 1,330 high school students. The unions have moreover spoken of a “mobilization on a historic scale”. In taking stock of this day of strike, the Mouvement National Lycéen announces very clearly the continuation of the movement: “This is just the beginning !”.
In vocational high schools, the movement was also followed to protest against the pension reform, but also the reform of professional establishments presented by Minister Carole Grandjean. In a press release, dated January 27, the inter-union of this branch “commits to building a new response front through specific actions and strikes in vocational high schools” if the claims are not heard.
What if my child’s school or class is closed?
For parents who want to know if a reception service will be maintained for the strike day of January 31, the answer is yes. A minimum childcare service is compulsory in primary schools, nursery schools and primary schools. In cases where there is no childcare service in place, the parents of students must on their side find a solution to have their children looked after (nanny, baby sitter, care by a neighbour, trusted neighbor or grandparents). Without a solution, some parents have no choice but to ask for an RTT day or a telework day.
Can a student be turned away from school during a strike?
In the first degree, even if there is a planned strike in a school, under no circumstances can a pupil be refused school. “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 at public school and at private school under contract”indicates the site of the Public Service, according to the law in force since 2008.
Are teachers obliged to declare themselves strikers in advance?
The right to strike in National Education responds to a few obligations. In the first degree, school teachers must declare their intention to go on strike in advance, at least 48 hours before the movement, respecting one working day. It is therefore not possible to declare oneself a striker on Friday if the strike takes place on Monday. If the teacher does not inform his management, he incurs a disciplinary sanction, indicates the ministry’s website.
In colleges and high schools, if a notice has already been given by a union, teachers are not obliged to declare themselves to be on strike in advance. It is up to the management of the establishment to carry out a census of the strikers and to inform the pupils and their families of them in advance. In fact, some teachers also use interactive platforms with students and families to announce their participation or not a few hours before the start of classes. Advice: do not hesitate to contact the school management a few days before or the day before to find out the details of the mobilization to come.