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(en) France, CNT-ait: Anarchosyndicalisme! #181 - An example of mobilization in a rural school district (ca, de, it, pt, tr)[machine translation]

Date Tue, 30 May 2023 10:16:46 +0300

In 2020 the Macron/Philippe government tried to privatize our pay-as-you-go pension system. At that time within a Cité scolaire in the Gers, several teachers, tired of the highlights of the inter-union demonstrations, had tried to radicalize the struggle by participating in a collective with other teachers from the department. Collective which was named "the black teachers". A habit of general meetings bringing together unionized and non-unionized members, with turn to speak and allocation of specific mandates to prepare collectively decided actions, had taken hold. However, this group had not succeeded in becoming interprofessional. Then came the Covid and the lockdown......
The lid had fallen, work had resumed.
From winter and the announcement of a new so-called "reform" of pensions, namely an umpteenth attack on our social achievements, general assemblies resume at our workplace: they will soon take place every Monday noon under form of picnic in front of our school campus if the weather permits. The habits contracted with the "black teachers" are reborn.

From then on, a variety of actions were put in place according to the ideas debated during the general assemblies on Monday. This is based on around twenty committed workers who, unlike 2020, are no longer counted solely among teaching staff. Soon, a kind of internal collective bringing together unionized, non-unionized, teachers, AESH, technical maintenance agents, AED, and CPE is set up. (CPE = principal educational adviser, AED = educational assistant, aesh = accompanying students with disabilities).

Everyone's creativity enriches the fight, so a banner workshop gives rise to the production of five large banners "Total withdrawal, general strike" which will mark the spirits during the demonstrations in Auch.
Some events take place in our workplace such as the "school of the future" or the posting of photos of aged staff representing a school with staff aged 64 and over.
"Strike pickets" every day of strike in front of our workplace with banners, coffee and strike fund to invite our non-striking colleagues to join us and/or support us financially and symbolically hinder access to the school complex.

A "dying" in front of the school complex, the day after the use of article 49.3 to have the text adopting the postponement of the legal retirement age. This action, which saw twenty-five people on the ground with signs "49.3 murdered democracy", restricting entry into the establishment, made it possible to challenge high school students and invite them to join us. This opened the discussions and in fact, we then went on a demonstration to occupy a roundabout with them, without any real blockage of traffic, but visible and audible to all the people going to the market that day.

Unauthorized wanderings in the small town so often very quiet to call on its inhabitants to join the inter-union demonstrations and the information meeting organized by some colleagues
Faced with the deafness of the government, blocking actions are taking shape in the Gers, at the call of an inter-union less cautious than usual. Of course, we are there.

Over the course of the general meetings, two recurring subjects come up: the decision of a renewable strike and the constitution of a strike fund. Neither is unanimous. Several colleagues (about fifteen out of eighty) are very quickly convinced of the need to embark on a renewable strike, the only way to have time to prepare actions different from traditional demonstrations. In fact, around twenty people went on a renewable strike three days out of five three weeks in a row... Of course, the strike is not totally renewable, but the Gers reality is also that we are the only school to be so strongly mobilized. The Gers is a very rural and sparsely populated department in which schools are far from each other. Striking teachers are often isolated and may have the feeling that "it is useless" to mobilize, because alone, we do not change much. Hence the idea of going to meet our colleagues on the days of the renewable strike.
The strike fund was first started by selling cakes in the market. Then, via a website. Its management has evolved. First created to support staff receiving the lowest salaries, it was gradually extended to all staff and gave rise to the following motion to clarify its operation.

Principles of the strike fund voted unanimously on Tuesday 03/21/2023 at the general meeting.

This strike fund will not compensate for our lost wages, but is intended to support the strike movement so that it lasts until the withdrawal of the pension reform. ---- As far as agents, AED, AESH, and contractual teachers are concerned, we can abound for all the days of the strike from 01/19/2023 to Friday March 24, 2023. ---- As regards teachers non-contractual (holders) the days of strike will also be counted from 19/01/2023 to Friday 24/03/2023, but the sum retained will be half of that given to the aforementioned categories. ---- This is to ensure the greatest fairness. ---- Everyone is free to accept help from the strike fund or put it back in the common pool if they feel they don't need it.

It should be noted that while some central trade unions: CGT/sud solidaire contributed to our strike fund, recognizing in this the intensity of our mobilization, other confederations, on the other hand, did not feel concerned!

The horizontal aspect of the struggle encounters a form of solidarity or not...

The strike fund has made it possible to establish solidarity which has modified the class relationship between teacher and AED or maintenance worker. Since then, the class relations that existed and the artificial division between workers in the same place have cracked, giving way to real solidarity.
As of this writing, the fight is not over and it is unclear whether our determination will prevail. However, it is to be hoped that the shared struggle will have anchored in people's minds that the preservation of social gains will indeed be the work of the workers themselves, deciding the forms of their struggle.

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