1 December 2023

The day of the start of the school year in a high school in Lyon, September 1, 2022.

In 2007, this was a key slogan of Nicolas Sarkozy’s campaign in his race for the Elysée: “work more to earn more”. Fifteen years later, this logic is found at the heart of the great reform of teachers’ remuneration, the outlines of which Emmanuel Macron was to specify, Thursday April 20, during a trip to Hérault.

This presentation comes at the end of a bumpy negotiation process. The “teacher pact”, as the Ministry of National Education calls it, has been the subject of fierce debate. The unions, forming a common front, left the table at the last meeting, considering the discussions at an impasse.

For the representative organisations, it is the very logic of the project, from its conception, which is unacceptable. By proposing, beyond a part of unconditional salary increase (known as the “base”), a part of variable remuneration linked to the acceptance of new missions, the President of the Republic seems to start from a presupposition refused by the profession: teachers would have a reserve of working time available.

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“It’s hard to say that we will pay everyone better, including those who are not ready to commit more or make more efforts”, launched the head of state during his 2022 campaign, suggesting that the work done was not enough. A discourse to which teachers are accustomed, as their activity is the subject of criticism and suspicion.

“A multitasking job”

“Everyone thinks they know what the teaching profession is, because everyone knows or has known one, even though a large part of the work is invisible, which feeds the very partial representations of their activity. », synthesize Géraldine Farges, lecturer in education science at the University of Burgundy.

The “recruitment” pages of the rectorates summarize this complexity of definition, the root of misunderstandings. The job descriptions all fill in the “working time” section in the same way: “18 hours of lessons per week” in secondary school, “27 hours a week” in primary. Apart from these “service obligations”it is simply mentioned “a time of preparation and correction” that “each teacher is free to organize”.

Of this The “black box” of working time outside teaching hours stems from the eternal question of teachers’ “effective working time”, which the administration has long sought to objectify. A challenge, explains M.me Fares: “Teaching is a multitasking job that goes beyond lessons, preparation and correction, where working time is diffuse, overflows into evenings and weekends. Accounting logic is impossible to apply, but when it is, the results are very far from received ideas. »

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