Strike at school: why the government chose conciliation

Jacques Serais, edited by Gauthier Delomez
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8:44 a.m., January 14, 2022

The Minister of National Education Jean-Michel Blanquer made promises to the unions on Thursday evening, after a massive mobilization of teachers and school staff. A demining operation by the executive intended to ease tensions and calm things down, three months before the presidential election.


Is this the end of the storm for the government? On the evening of a massive strike in National Education, where staff demanded additional means of protection against Covid-19 and recruitment, Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer announced Thursday five million FFP2 masks and thousands of replacements. . What calm the ardor of the unions, which must decide soon on a continuation or not of the movement. For the government, the objective was to ease tensions and reduce the pressure, less than three months before the presidential election.

Getting out of the storm for Jean-Michel Blanquer

The words of the Minister of National Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, betray the ambition of the government. Rare thing: after a strike and a day of demonstrations, the minister admitted a strong mobilization. “We understood,” said the tenant on rue de Grenelle in Paris. Everything except the arm wrestling strategy, the minister favors that of conciliation. This is how the executive made the choice to accede to the teachers’ request to be able to benefit from FFP2 masks from kindergarten to high school, even though the High Council for Public Health does not recommend them.

This decision is also a demining operation on the part of Jean-Michel Blanquer vis-à-vis his colleague, Olivier Véran. The past few days have seen tension between the two men. “It’s going very well, there is no conflict at all”, however proclaims the Minister of National Education, who now hopes that the storm has passed.

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