France: Educators unite in defence of public service

The French affiliates of Education International are mobilising on 10 October to defend civil servants’ purchasing power and working conditions as they press for improvements in the quality of public services.

A day of strikes and demonstrations in France has been called for 10 October, the date set by the Ministry of Public Accounts and Action for salary talks. The mobilisation is at the behest of nine public workers’ federations, including the Education International (EI) affiliates, the Confédération générale du travail, the Confédération française démocratique du travail, Force Ouvrière, the Fédération syndicale unitaire, and the Union nationale des syndicats autonomes.

This united front bodes well for a massive turnout in defence of public services, allowing union members to express their “profound disagreement” with the “unfair and ineffective” measures taken. Public services have been consistently targeted by the new government.

Negative measures

“Since the new government came to power, there has been a steady stream of negative measures affecting public employees: the freezing of the index value, the return of the one-day delay in payment, the prospect of 120,000 job losses in the three areas of the civil service,” says a joint press release from the trade union federations.

“All these measures will hit the purchasing power of over 5.4 million public employees hard, and will undermine the public services provided to users” - this is “unacceptable”, according to the unions.

Recognition

The federations are calling for real pay negotiations that recognise the work, sense of purpose, and professional commitment of public servants. This will be manifested through increased purchasing power, a higher valuation of their profession, dropping the one-day delay in pay, and by taking all means necessary to enable public employees to fulfil their task of providing a public service.

Please click here to read the joint press release (in French).

For further information, please see the event’s Facebook page.

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