French teachers mobilize against Macron’s attacks on education
15 November 2018
Teachers across France struck on November 12 against the 2019 education budget of the government of Emmanuel Macron. It was the first time the trade unions have called a national education strike since 2011.
The first day of action involved close to one in two secondary and one in four elementary school teachers, according to union officials. The ministry claimed a far lower figure of 10 percent participation in the strike. Approximately 4,000 teachers protested in Paris; 1,000 in Marseille; 2,500 in Lyon; 850 in Nantes; 800 in Caen and 700 in Clermont-Ferrand, according to the police prefectures.
The educators are opposing the cutting of 2,650 positions in public middle schools and high schools, another 550 positions in the private sector, and 400 administrative positions. These cuts are outlined in the national education budget of 2019 that was discussed yesterday in the National Assembly, under conditions where the education ministry’s own statistical agency predicts that the number of secondary students will increase by 40,000 each year between 2019 and 2021.
To compensate for the destruction of full-time positions, Minister of Budget, Public Accounts and Civil Service, Gérald Darmanin, proposes to utilize more contract teachers in place of recruiting more teachers via examinations. This has provoked opposition among teachers, who fear the destruction of existing labour protections and a massive increase in precarious work in the national education system.
At the Paris demonstration, World Socialist Web Site reporters met Caroline, a high school teacher who said she came to “protest against the job cuts forecast for next year, in particular at high schools.”…