Teachers' salaries: Blanquer tenses unions by citing increases to "merit"

The Minister of National Education Jean-Michel Blanquer at the Elysée Palace in Paris on February 12, 2020 (hooly News / Alain JOCARD)

Jean-Michel Blanquer hinted Friday that the salary increase promised to teachers as part of the pension reform would be done more on "merit", raising concern among unions who fear they will have to "work more to earn more".

The pension reform, examined from Monday in public session at the Assembly, is an opportunity to increase the salary of teachers and rethink the evolution of the profession, says the Minister of Education for several months.

In this context, the government undertakes that salary increases will guarantee the same level of pension for teachers, who could potentially lose up to 900 euros per month by integrating the universal pension scheme.

The discussions between government and unions started in mid-January and should lead before the summer to a law for the programming of salary increases.

For the moment, a budget of 500 million euros has been confirmed for 2021 but the effort should increase with the objective of reaching around 10 billion per year by 2026, according to the unions.

A week ago, the department's human resources branch presented unions with four scenarios for distributing the increases for this first march of 2021.

The teachers of schools at the start of their careers, the most disadvantaged by the reform, could receive between 93 and 157 euros more per month depending on the scenarios, without conditions.

However, part of the envelope would be devoted to other levers of increase, such as the funding of overtime on short absences or even the compensation of teachers who agree to undergo training during the school holidays. An affront to the unions, which reject the idea of ​​counterparts in exchange for these upgradings.

– "We will have to clarify" –

Asked Friday on RMC-hooly-news.com about these possible counterparts, Jean-Michel Blanquer mentioned "two dimensions": "There is a dimension common to all which will make that there is an increase for all, because it is necessary to raise the level general remuneration, and of course there is a dimension of merit, it already exists in part, and we will probably accentuate it, "he said.

"I'm trying to get out of binary debates … Is it working more to earn more, in truth, it's more complicated than that. It's better than that. It's rather how we give actors horizons education is a win-win game, "said the minister.

For Catherine Nave-Bekhti, secretary general of Sgen-CDFT, "we are no longer in the revaluation but clearly in the + work more to earn more +", she fulminates, warning the government against "bad leads which introduce tension ".

"The word + merit + had so far not been spoken during the discussions and there we do not know what is behind it; If there is a hidden agenda, it is problematic and we will have to clarify", adds Catherine Nave-Bekhti.

Stéphane Crochet, secretary general of SE Unsa, believes that this "revaluation under consideration" will necessarily bring "a record distrust of teachers towards the government" while "the profession is in a state of strong tension".

For Jean-Michel Blanquer, "that there are undefined elements, this is the very principle of social dialogue (…)", he retorted.

The next negotiations, scheduled from February 24, promise to be close.

asm / jt / mm