Snes-Fsu: a congress in Montpellier to defend secondary education

The main national union of teachers will receive 550 delegates in the Corum until May 13. With the baccalaureate exams starting this Wednesday, the motto is clear: put pressure on the future education minister to upgrade a profession in identity crisis.

The teachers have the blues. it does not date from yesterday and they will have the opportunity to confirm it loud and clear this week, on the occasion of the national congress, in the Corum of Montpellier, of the Snes-Fsu, the main national union of secondary education teachers with 58,000 members (about 2,800 in the Montpellier academy). Re-evaluating and making sense of a profession in identity crisis: this is the priority emerging from field testimonials at the end of Macron’s first five-year term “who has done much damage through the reform of the baccalaureate and secondary schools”.

“There is a loss of meaning”

In fact, in recent years, the Ministry of Education has clearly adopted a policy that has strengthened first-level resources to improve the acquisition of basic education, especially in difficult neighborhoods where classes are divided. But at the same time, the number of teachers in secondary education has decreased, while that of students has increased. “Last year we lost about 1,800 jobs for 36,000 extra students. How do you expect us to make it?”asks Christophe Benoît, professor of history and geography at the Lycée Henri IV in Béziers. “We lost a math teacher at my facility. All teachers in this specialty are already doing 2.4 hours more a week… This reform needs to be reviewed.”

The teacher calls a “loss of meaning”This feeling “to carry the system at arm’s length”shared by many of his colleagues against a backdrop of mounting layoffs and requests for conventional termination (some 40 in the academy last year according to the union). ‘So many signs that show that things are not going well’notes Sophie Vénétitay, the secretary general of Snes, recognizing an increase in student enrollment in private institutions under contract.

‘The pool of substitutes is exhausted’

“We are in suspense in terms of schedules, we no longer know where we stand due to conflicting injunctions, we are approaching the end”confirms Claire Pous, French teacher at Vauvert University (Gard) and academic co-secretary of Snes. “Burnouts are things we see and support, but fatigue is becoming more common in teachers’ rooms in general,” adds Stéphane Audebeau, professor of economics and social sciences in Sète and academic co-secretary of Snes. “Especially as the pool of underpaid substitutes has been gradually exhausted to the point where it is necessary to go through Pôle emploi to recruit them with, in the long run, a problem with the skills and quality of education.”

Burned by a Grenelle of education “which had brought all the components together but led to nothing”, the teachers await with a touch of dread the identity and program of their future minister. “Our profession, we love it and we want to practice it in good conditions and with respect for public service”concludes Sophie Vénétitay.

“Break with the Blanquer Method”

National Secretary General of Snes-Fsu, Sophie Vénétitay, clearly showed her union’s demands to the future government this Monday at the opening of the Congress in Montpellier: “We want a clear break with the Blanquer method, that it’s possible to disagree. And our first priority is salary. There is a significant cut weighing on hiring. We need to catch up and reassess wages without compensation, as Emmanuel Macron suggested during his campaign because our working time is already more than 40 hours.

The president had announced a salary increase for those who would accept new missions, including tutoring. Sophie Vénétitay also argues for more resources because “Already 7,900 jobs have been cut in colleges and secondary schools.” It emphasizes the need to increase the number of employees “Especially in this post-covid period when the most vulnerable students tend to give up faster.”

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