2 February 2024

Dlet’s be clear: the “pact” offered to teachers, and rightly refused by the trade unions, is a cover-up coupled with a moral scandal.

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A cache-miserie, because national education has been living for years with a tight flow in terms of teaching staff, the reserve of replacement teachers (without assigned post from one year to the next) having been deliberately dried up at the end of the 2000s. However, today, the crisis of recruitment by competition – already dramatic in many disciplines – is coupled with more numerous resignations on the part of young teachers. The temporary recruitment of contractual teachers having its limits, the only solution devised by the public authorities therefore consists in transferring to voluntary teachers the load of the courses and the supervision for which the personnel are lacking.

A scandal, because proposing a “pact” to permanent civil servants is an act without precedent in the history of our institutions. Until further notice, a civil servant is recruited and established with what is called a status. This includes rights and duties, general and specific. Each job category thus includes its service obligations, along with a code of ethics. The tasks and projects that may be added to this service may be subject to agreements with the administrations concerned; but of a “pact” creating new obligations, with the solemnity which attaches to this word, there can be no question. This “pact”, which only offers to earn more, that is to say to sell one’s services, is a contract that does not say its name. It makes the civil servant a partner in a market. What he implies is that the statute has lost its founding character and that any working relationship can be contractualised. We have, shamefully, changed sphere.

A patch

The problem is, however, that the statutory obligations of teachers in post, from kindergarten to high school, are generally sufficient to keep them permanently occupied, well beyond the thirty-five hours per week provided for full-time. Whatever their functions, they will only be able to accept the proposed “pact” by overloading themselves beyond reason.

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So what is this “pact”? A plaster, or, if you prefer, a patch intended to hide the state of scarcity in which the national education finds itself in terms of recruitment as well as remuneration. This situation is not specific to it: today, all “human professions” are more or less devastated. We lack general practitioners, nurses, midwives, child nurses, administrative officers for the university as well as for justice, bus drivers, lifeguards… But for the future of the nation, including in its economic aspect, nothing is more alarming than the lack of teaching vocations.

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