Thursday, June 10, 2010

coming soon: school stoppage

There's usually at least one teacher strike every year. Normally these focus on two things:

  • Paying the current crop of teachers more money.
  • Honoring a payment promise made 20-30 years ago, to what are now older teachers. (The theory being that if they let the government break one promise, the government will then feel free to break others.)
These are fine causes, the first is pretty normal, the second is a little esoteric. However, today the teachers' union at my school left these mini-flyers out, which looked like this:

Did you know?

The current government is destroying the last remains of public education:

  • The General Education Law that enshrines profit in education. [consagra el lucro en educacion--I'm not sure how to translate that.]
  • The Project to Assure School Quality, which will create schools in first, second, third, and fourth classes.
  • The Teachers' Professional Career, created by the Ministry of Education without the involvement of the teachers, which leaves us completely defenseless as workers.
  • Extension of the school day until 8 P.M. [N.B.: The day starts at 8 A.M.]

For a quality public education, secular, pluralist, and democratic, for ALL the children of Chile.

Those are the proposals President Pinera laid out in his speech to Congress on May 21st. Pretty grim, huh? Trying to further break an already broken system. It's worthy of Republicans.

A flyer like this naturally looks like a way to rile and educate the membership about an upcoming strike, and inquiries reveal that to be the case. They're having the necessary meetings now, and the guess I heard was that it will happen in July sometime.

I asked if the union had any way to pressure the government besides strikes, and the answer was, "No, only strikes. Now the government doesn't listen to anything."

Volunteers: Any rumblings in your area? Keep your ears open.

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