Chiapas CNTE holds consultations on ending strike

One of the shopping plazas closed by teachers in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas

One of the shopping plazas closed by protesting teachers in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas

By: Angeles Mariscal

Teachers of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) carried out consultations in their more than 800 delegations in the state to make a decision about ending the strike that started last May 15 and return to classes. The federal government proposed, extra-officially, suspending de facto the application of the education reform only in Chiapas, through an agreement that would be in effect starting from reaching agreement until the end of the presidential term (sexenio). [1]

During the assembly held last Friday, dissident teachers announced the federal government’s proposal. According to Manuel Mendoza, the CNTE’s leader in the state’s indigenous zone, the federal government’s proposal was made verbally and includes, besides considering Chiapas as a state of emergency, revising the conditions in which education is imparted within the state, in terms of infrastructure and capacity building, to attain some improvements.

The promises also include that their wages would not be docked nor any teacher fired that participated in mobilizations against the education reform, and a program would be implemented for capacity building and incentives for those who wish to participate in the evaluations, above all for those who will be contracted under the new scheme.

During the assembly, at first the teachers decided maestros to continue the strike, because the proposal to suspend the application of the reform was only to the Chiapas teachers; however the decision of the Oaxaca teachers to return to classes next Wednesday, opened the possibility of reaching their own agreements.

Therefore, according to what the CNTE’s spokesperson, José Luis Escobar, announced during this week and until September 9 when they hold the state assembly, the teachers will hold consultations in their more than 800 delegations, in which the parents and organizations that have supported the labor strike also participate.

He explained that faced with the decision of the Oaxaca teachers, the viability of continuing the strike alone must be analyzed in Chiapas. He said that if in the delegation assemblies they make the decision to end the strike and return to classes, it does not mean the end of the movement to attain the abrogation of the education reform, but rather re-proposing a new strategy for achieving it.

They agreed to maintain protest actions while they are carrying out the consultation in which it is foreseen that teachers of the indigenous zone will oppose ending the strike because there is no formal written proposal. Today they again closed shopping plazas in the capital; in one of them business owners and their workers placed themselves at the doors se in order to impede entry to the demonstrators.

They hung canvas banners with the slogan “CNTE: We’re at home, we need to work.” Nevertheless, the demonstrators did achieve closing the establishments.

[1] Sexenio means a six-year term of office. Here, the reference is to the six-year term of current President Enrique Peña Nieto that ends in December 2018.


Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo

Monday, September 5, 2016

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee


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