Wages, jobs, working conditions, reforms: education in danger: joint strike on 1st February


Today ETUCE expresses its solidarity with the French trade unions FSU, FNEC FP - FO, CGT Educ'Action, SUD education, for the strike action for higher teachers’ salaries, against job cuts, and against the implementation of reforms of the education system at breakneck speed. 

“47% of staff in collèges, lycées and CIOs are on strike today in response to a call from the SNES-FSU and a broad inter-union coalition. In fact, most secondary school staff are on strike, with more than one teacher out of two on strike, marking a clear rejection of the proposed reform of the secondary school system. Some collèges were closed, for example in the Limoges academy, in Versailles and Normandy, 70-80% of teachers are on strike.” Sophie Vénétitay, General Secretary of the SNES –FSU. 

The education recruitment crisis persists due to low salaries, hindering the appeal of the teaching profession in France. The education unions demand significant pay increases, particularly addressing high inflation and the withdrawal of the “Pact” (the “teacher pact” was offered to all school teachers to commit to carrying out additional missions throughout the year, in exchange for salary increases). Despite initial measures in 2023, the Minister refuses to discuss crucial new measures, contemplating a hierarchical shift instead. 

The Pact has failed, creating divisions and misinterpretations. The Minister's refusal to address emergency salary measures for AESH (teachers supporting students with disabilities) and AED (education assistants) adds to the problem. Urgent steps are needed to prevent job cuts, reduce class sizes, and improve working conditions. 

Teachers and AESH staff are at a breaking point. Our organizations urgently call for the defense of specialised teaching, civil servant status, fair salaries for AESH, and the withdrawal of measures taken as part of Act 2 of the “Inclusive School” reform, which pushes teachers and social services to do more with fewer resources. 

The vocational high school reform threatens education principles. Education unions demand its withdrawal, urging the Minister to open a transparent consultation on vocational education. The "Knowledge Shock" measures announced by the Minister deviate from democratisation goals.  

ETUCE stands by FSU, FNEC FP - FO, CGT Educ'Action, SUD education for their strike action and demonstrations on 1 February 2024. Immediate reaction is vital for the well-being of education professionals and the quality of education in France!  

As Sophie Vénétitay, General Secretary of the SNES -FSU union puts it : “The urgency is in terms of salaries: the President of the Republic's promises have not been kept, and the downgrading of our professions' salaries continues. This pauperization weighs heavily on the day-to-day lives of our staff, particularly in times of inflation, and exacerbates the crisis of attractiveness.”