an unprecedented mobilization since 2019, but far from the 2003 record

A notable but not unprecedented mobilization. The teachers’ strike to denounce the health protocol in particular, Thursday January 13, was followed by 38.5% of school teachers and nearly 24% of teachers in colleges and high schools, according to figures communicated by the Ministry of Education. national at midday. It is the second most important social movement in the world of education since the beginning of Emmanuel Macron’s mandate, as our infographic shows (below)which compiles as exhaustively as possible the figures published at each strike by the services of Jean-Michel Blanquer.

>> Strike day in schools: follow the mobilization of teachers in our live

The mobilization record, since May 2017, remains that reached on December 5, 2019, on the occasion of a day of interprofessional struggle against the pension reform project. The rate of strikers was then 51% in the primary and 42% in the secondary, unheard of since 2003, by the admission of the executive.

At the start of the week, the Snuipp-FSU, the main primary school union, announced a “historic mobilization by its magnitude over the past twenty years”. In fact, this Thursday’s strike, supported by all the unions in the sector, is in the top 10 of the most followed since 2002, perhaps around fifth place. Difficult to be more precise: contacted by franceinfo, the ministry affirmed not to be able to transmit a global document listing the main actions of the last decades.

The prize still goes to the movement of May 13, 2003 in the public service and transport against a pension reform carried by the government of Jean-Pierre Raffarin. At the time, 74% of teachers had stopped working in schools, 71% in colleges, 65% in general high schools and 64% in vocational high schools, according to ministry figures.

A few months earlier, on October 17, 2002, a previous movement had been followed by 49% of school teachers, 44% in colleges, 36% in general high schools and 37% in vocational high schools, according to a ministry archive. It was then a question of denouncing budgetary restrictions in National Education.

Comparisons of mobilization rates between today and the 2000s should be made with caution. “In 2010, the ministry changed its methodology”emphasizes to franceinfo Laurent Frajerman, high school history teacher and associate researcher at the Center for Research on Social Ties at the University of Paris. “Since that date, the percentages have been mechanically underestimated, which could lead one to believe, wrongly, that teachers are striking less than before”deplores this specialist in teacher unionism, close to the FSU.

In the second degree, the figures put forward by the ministry come from field reports carried out between 8 and 9 am on the day of the strike. Heads of establishments note the number of unjustified absences in software and a rate of strikers is calculated in relation to all staff. A method criticized, because it counts in particular as non-strikers all the teachers who do not have lessons from 8 am and who will nevertheless be on strike.

“By relying on the establishment’s overall workforce rather than the expected workforce at 8 a.m., the department is able to reduce the rates effectively.”

Laurent Frajerman, teacher trade union specialist

at franceinfo

This methodology, also criticized for the opacity of its sample, partly explains the significant differences between the figures communicated by the executive and those of the unions. On Tuesday, based on strike intentions filed in schools, the Snuipp-FSU promised “more than 75%” mobilization in the first degree, almost double the 38.5% finally announced by the ministry. Thursday at midday, the Snes-FSU reported 62% of strikers in the second degree, against 24% on the government side. The techniques employed by unions also have their limits, so the good account is probably somewhere in between.

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