the minister who listens to the unions…

“Really listen”. On May 24, Pap Ndiaye received the National Education Unions for the first time, starting with the two largest, the FSU and the UNSA. Pap Ndiaye listened to them for a long time and in doing so broke with the practices of his predecessor. If the unions were able to press for the most urgent questions, such as the start of the school year or the revaluation, the minister did not reveal his intentions. If that’s not maintaining the dialogue. The minister listens. But can he deviate from the Elysian roadmap?

The new method

“Dialogue with the whole educational community will be an important principle,” Pap Ndiaye said on May 20. He keeps his word by receiving the two main trade union centers, the Fsu and the Unsa, from 24 May. The minister is accompanied by his chief of staff, JM Huart and Julie Benetti. Animator of the education pole of E. Macron’s campaign, she should join P Ndiaye’s cabinet as a special adviser or social adviser.

“Pap Ndiaye listened a lot and insisted on the new method he claims to introduce: listen to us and also answer questions,” said Benoît Teste, secretary-general of the FSU, at the end of the meeting. Frédéric Marchand, Secretary General of Unsa Education, also speaks of “really listening” and “good contact without real obligations”. The unions left without any announcements, including on topics that are becoming very urgent, such as recruitment before the start of the school year.

An expected decision about high school math

Only one subject seems to want to evolve quickly: math in general high school. “The minister asked questions about high school math with curious urging,” B Teste told us. “If he arranges 1h30 of mathematics for students who do not follow the mathematics specialty, it will be difficult to organize the start of the school year. We fear disorganization”. “We hope that the change will not take place at the start of the 2022 school year,” confirms F Marchand. Emmanuel Macron announced the return of mathematics to the common core during his election campaign. The High Council for the Programs is currently discussing a draft programme. The Elysée may want to fulfill its promise very soon. Even if branches find it difficult to follow.

Upgrading & Recruiting: Pending

If the unions fear a very rapid evolution on this issue, others, even more urgent, could wait. “The minister has taken note of our requests about the upgrade. For us, we have to quickly go to both the Ministry of the Civil Service (for the FP point) and the national education system. The minister said there would be consultations before the summer,” says B. test. “For him it is related to the question of the attractiveness of the teaching profession. But he did not give any details,” explains F Marchand.

Pap Ndiaye “is aware of the recruitment problems”, confirms B Teste. “We told him we should use the people on the supplemental lists and keep the indentured servants. He nodded. But does he have the resources to do it?” “Our recruiting warning was heard by the chief of staff,” F Marchand said. “We will have to enter into a multi-year term to keep the contract workers.”

Unsa Education recalled that the Harassment Act provides for the CDIsation of Supervisors (AED) and asked for the fulfillment of commitments in favor of administrative staff. The union reported Unsa barometer “to denote the mood of the profession and the need to appease the relationship”. He raised the issue of social and school diversity and inclusive education.

Don’t ruin everything

The Fsu asked the minister to draw attention to the increasing inequality, especially in secondary school reform, and discrimination. Dad Ndiaye said he’d pay attention. “We drew attention to the fact that the Ministry of Labor is recovering files such as the apprenticeship system and consequently the vocational track. We told him that it is a red line for us,” says B Teste. Another topic came up, that of the 6 sanctioned teachers of the Pasteur School in Saint Denis. “He was told that he needed a reconciliation measure. He took notes, but does not seem to know the file”.

For the FSU, the minister listens, but does not make decisions. The union wonders about budget arbitration. “Will he have the necessary resources? And for several years?”, B Teste wonders. “It won’t be ‘everything upside down”, says F Marchand. “But he is worried about the fatigue of the teachers”. To be continued…

Francois Jarraud

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