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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]
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
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
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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