Teachers’ unions will strike on Tuesday across France to press their demands for bolstering of health measures in schools in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.
It will be an inter-union strike with many leading unions of the industry, including FSU, FNEC-FP-FO, CGT, Educ’action, Snalc, SUD, and SNCL-FAEN, according to local daily France24.
France is in the middle of its second wave of coronavirus outbreak and a second nationwide lockdown as a result. The confinement will be lifted on Dec. 1.
Among teachers’ demands are that the new measures announced by Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer last week are applied to colleges as well.
School systems in the Paris and Marseille regions are expected to participate in the strike most.
Sophie Venetitay, deputy secretary general of Snes-FSU, the first secondary school union, told BFMTV that teachers still did not feel like they were being heard.
“The health issues remain very lively in the colleges and the anger rose a notch at the end of last week because they did not understand to have been totally excluded from the announcements of the ministry.”
Among the new measures Blanquer announced last week to limit the spread of the virus and take further precaution in the classroom are providing more distance courses as at least 50% of students attend in person most of the time.
The remainder of the time “reception in half groups, or by level” may be applied or “remote work one or two days a week” may happen. The minister’s new rulings were sent in a letter to school heads and administrators after Blanquer had met with teachers’ unions.
Still, the measures have not sufficed those on the front line day-in and day-out in the classrooms. Educators asked the Education Ministry to immediately hire additional personnel, classifying it as a “massive and urgent” need in schools, colleges, and high schools, according to reporting by franceinfo radio.
Masks are compulsory for all teachers as well as students aged six and over in all educational institutions throughout France.
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