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French unions call for renewed strike action in schools this Thursday

A reported 38% of teachers went on strike last Thursday in protest against the Covid-related procedures currently in place in educational settings

French teaching unions are calling for another strike this week Pic: Anna Nahabed / Shutterstock

Several French teaching unions have called for renewed action against the Covid rules currently imposed on schools, following a first day of strikes last Thursday (January 13).

The Education Ministry stated that some 38% of primary teachers had taken part in this action.

The Snuipp-FSU teaching union said the mobilisation: “illustrated the growing despondency within schools” in the face of the “incapacity to manage the health crisis within schools but also more generally the educational policy in force for the last five years which is ruining schools and showing contempt for staff.”

Snuipp-FSU claimed that in reality 75% of primary school teachers had been on strike.

The government did announce new measures, including the recruitment of 3,300 supply teachers and the distribution of FFP2 masks, to help ease the pressure on schools following the strike. 

Ministers also said that the tests which children in CP (normally for five to six-year-olds) were due to sit this week have been delayed and that a new date will be decided with unions, while they would also consider postponing any baccalauréat exams due to take place in March.

Read more: FFP2 masks, more supply teachers: new measures for schools announced

However, unions have since said that they want “strong responses” to the “chaos” caused by Covid and FSU, CGT Educ’action, FO and SUD Education have called for more action on Thursday (January 20).

They are joined by parent union FCPE and secondary school unions FIDL, MNL and La Voix lycéenne. 

FSU has said that the measures announced last week by the government are “far from the demands of our colleagues who mobilised on January 13.”

Unions are calling for the immediate postponement of baccalauréat exams, the cancellation of CP tests, greater supply teacher recruitment and more plentiful distribution of protective equipment such as masks. 

They are also demanding a collective budget for primary schools which would allow for a huge recruitment drive, rather than temporary supply teachers, and a pay rise for existing staff.

The call for strike action is smaller than last week, when the above unions were joined by SE-Unsa, Snalc and Sgen-CFDT. 

This week, Snuipp-FSU has suggested that teachers protest outside their schools at lunchtime with banners reading ‘Mon école craque’ (My school is at breaking point). 

It is believed that this action will culminate in a huge interprofessional strike on January 27.

Related articles 

French school strike: How does the ‘minimum reception service’ work?

French Prime Minister relaxes school Covid testing measures

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