Covid: teachers on strike against Macron measures

High turnout expected against Covid health protocol

13 January, 15:40

    PARIS - Teachers in France went on strike Thursday against measures adopted by the government to combat the coronavirus in schools.

    The protesting teachers consider the measures too complex and confusing, as well as subject to frequent changes.

    High turnout is expected for the strike, which could weaken support for President Emmanuel Macron three months before presidential elections in April.

    The strike is also supported by many principals and parents, who are exasperated by the complexity and continuous changes in Covid health protocol, and could lead to the closure of about half of the country's schools.

    French school union Snuipp-FSU predicted participation of as high as 75% among primary school teachers.

    "This historic mobilisation, unprecedented in the past twenty years, is not a 'strike against the virus' but illustrates the growing exasperation in schools," the school union wrote in a statement.

    Snuipp-FSU denounced "worsening working conditions" and "permanent lies" of Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer.

    Targeted by increasingly virulent criticism, Blanquer on Tuesday warned teachers: "Do not strike against the virus".

    Macron said he understands teachers' and parents' fatigue over countless Covid regulations but called for patience and defended the choice to leave schools open despite the Omicron variant wave.

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