On January 13, 2022, all the national education unions called a strike. We strongly support this movement, and UCL activists will be in action this Thursday.
The epidemic is progressing, so does the contempt of the minister
This movement caused by the health situation is historic. Jean-Michel Blanquer will have succeeded in alienating everyone, including the management and the corps of inspectors. The reasons ? The non-management of the epidemic, the contempt displayed and the destruction of the public education service, the first victims of which are still and always the children of the working classes but also people at risk. Blanquer’s policy, which is to keep schools and classes open at all costs, is helping employers. The objective: to make the school the daycare center of Capital, that workers stay at work and that nothing stands in the way of the ruling classes’ thirst for profits.
This massive movement follows multiple plot strikes in national education. In particular strikes in the most vulnerable sectors, the AED and especially the AESH. These movements made it possible to organize the militant teams in a difficult context, in the face of multiple and incessant attacks by the government and in the context of a pandemic.
If the reasons for this mobilization are above all health, the roots of the anger are deeper, it is now three decades that liberal policies weaken public schools. Today the cup is full, contaminations are exploding in schools, affecting both staff and students, and endangering a large part of the population directly or indirectly. Our organization has supported social movements from day one aimed at securing protective measures for workers in schools and elsewhere.
Let the workers toughen up …
Now a question arises, beyond health protection, what to do ? At the very least, we must push for the renewal of the strike, health protections are necessary and their obtaining must be made as a condition for resuming work. This goes through the self-organization of education workers, through establishment general meetings, union action. But beyond the question of the disastrous management of the epidemic, it is the entire government policy on schools that we must question.
…. facing a ministry that only understands the balance of power
For years, we have seen the collapse of the public service, and the union responses have been too weak and scattered. It is possible to rely on this protest movement to build a strong struggle. It is a question of defending in the first place the increase of the means for public education. To stop the authoritarian and managerial policy by obtaining the repeal of the Rilhac law (which makes school directors hierarchical superiors). But also to break the cycle of liberalization and privatization at work. Blanquer’s counter reforms, reactionary and anti-pedagogical conceptions of education are creating a two-tier education, reducing the chances of students from working-class backgrounds.
The broad appeal of this Thursday should allow us to build a massive movement and a combative union unity. With the particular objective of joining the inter-professional movement of January 27 the general increase in wages, pensions and social minima.
Let’s refuse Blanquer and his world, let’s build our own. To prepare the self-managed society of tomorrow, let us resist the liberal offensive against school and continue to fight for the right of everyone to work and study with dignity.
Libertarian Communist Union, January 11, 2022.