Education. From Roubaix to Paris, they cycle for school recruitment

Roubaix (Nord), Méricourt (Pas-de-Calais), correspondence.

The last time they gathered on the Grand-Place in Roubaix, it was to perform Christmas carols dedicated to “Little White Dad”. This Tuesday, January 18, is to attend a departure. Not an Ibiza-Paris by plane but a Roubaix-Paris by bike. An initiative that crowns the mobilization of school teachers in the northern city started in November 2021 at the call of the SNUipp-FSU, the CGT Éduc’action and the Sgen-CFDT to protest against the lack of replacements (read our edition of December 14, 2021). Out of a total of around 10,000 classes, the North inspection had 417 without a teacher on January 11, 2022. The variable-geometry Covid protocol does not help matters. “Every morning, we ask ourselves: “This student, which box does he fit into? What can we do ? Not to do ?…” “ testifies Stéphanie Maréchal, of the CGT Éduc’action Nord, school teacher in Cambrai (Nord). “We are always the last to be informed, she denounces. Parents hear announcements on the news and we don’t know any more than they do. They make us look like incompetents. » If the mobilization took off well in Roubaix, where almost all the schools are in the priority zone, it is thanks to the “local dynamics”, believes Quentin Foucaut, of Sgen-CFDT Nord. The lack of replacements, exacerbated by the Covid, is however general and old. However, only contract recruitments have been announced. “We put two stitches on a gaping wound. Luckily we have great parents. I taught at Alma (working-class district of Roubaix – Editor’s note) for thirteen years. Parents sometimes have conflicting relations with the state. But not with the school”, he assures.

Of the 1,200 schools in Pas-de-Calais, there are 217 classes without a teacher

On the stroke of 1 p.m., a guard of honor forms and a tricolor cord is stretched. To the sound of the Struggle Fanfare, the cyclists set off, followed by the orange Volkswagen combi which takes care of the logistics. Four hours later, the group dismounted in front of the Mermoz school, in Méricourt, in Pas-de-Calais. “Between Roubaix and Lille, it was complicated, because there are traffic lights everywhere, but it’s nice to see us go through town. Then we took the greenways, it’s quieter », says Pauline. Conclusion of the day: a puncture. Maxime Vasseur, co-secretary general of SNUipp-FSU for Pas-de-Calais, was waiting for his colleagues. That same morning, the departmental CHSCT had met. Out of 1,200 schools, there are 217 classes without a teacher. One hundred contract hires have been promised, for six months. “They are having a lot of trouble finding candidates. They have only recruited 19 so far.”, he explains. The Mermoz school has eleven classes. Sébastien Malod has two days off to carry out his duties as director: “I spend 90% of my time managing the Covid situation. » “We do class while answering the phone, filling out paperwork for the Covid cell, evenings and weekends included. It’s complicated nervously “, agrees the director of the neighboring kindergarten. Hirings of administrative agents have been promised, but only one per constituency and for only a few months. A precariousness that Audrey Neukermans knows well, accompanying students with disabilities (AESH) twenty-four hours a week. His second three-year CDD is coming to an end soon. She will not sign the CDI offered to her. “It’s heartbreaking but 700 euros per month is not possible. I’m thinking about my retirement, she confides. She is now aiming for training as a nurse’s aide.

The cycling teachers carry in their bags a notebook of grievances that they want to hand over to the ministry on their arrival in Paris on Friday. This evening, it has darkened by two more pages. “Worn-out teachers, loss of motivation! “, “Inadequate protocols, unprotected personnel”, can we read. “Non-existent training, I’ve been thrown into the deep end!” Fortunately, I am with good colleagues! » writes a trainee teacher. It is now time to reach the municipal cultural center, where the team will sleep in an apartment that is usually used for artists’ residences. Obvious welcome and support “for a city of union of the left led by a communist mayor”, smiles Serge Ternisien, general manager of services. In Amiens (Somme) and Beauvais (Oise), the next steps, they will stay with colleagues. “This human solidarity feels good right now”, rejoices Kevin.

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