The green teachers' unions face the relaxation of the health protocol at school (illustrative photo of April 1, 2021)

POLICY – Three self-tests for contact cases at school, without obligation of antigen test or PCR: Jean Castex, announced this Monday, January 10 a relaxation of the health protocol in the face of the Covid epidemic in schools and the risk of mess.

“Indeed we see these queues, I am a father, I can see what is happening”, underlined the Prime Minister in the news of 20 hours of France 2 defending “answers of simplification” while parents students and teachers have been on the fence since the start of the school year and that a strike is looming on the horizon as of Thursday.

First evolution of the protocol which comes into force on Tuesday: parents will no longer have to pick up their child immediately after they have been in contact, but at the end of the course. Then, whereas previously, each student identified as a contact case had to immediately undergo a PCR or antigen test, now a simple self-test, which will have to be repeated on D + 2 and D + 4, will have to be carried out. The head of government also specified that a single certificate of honor, certifying that the first self-test is negative, would be sufficient for a return in progress.

“Total contempt”

The reactions of the teachers’ unions have been very fresh: Guislaine David, general secretary of Snuipp-FSU, the first primary union, denounced a “total contempt vis-à-vis the teachers who are on the ground”, considering that this was “not at all going to reduce the number of contaminations at school, on the contrary (…) because a certificate on the honor of the parents is now sufficient”.

“Jean Castex does not reassure us at all, we will maintain the call to strike”, she commented on BFMTV in the evening.

Regarding “the way in which we protect staff and students, it has provided no answer,” added Sophie Vénétitay, from Snes-FSU (1st in secondary education). For Stéphane Crochet, from SE-Unsa, “this new rule will only add tension on the ground, where the situation is already very tense”.

Denouncing “an indescribable mess” in schools and “a strong feeling of abandonment and anger among the staff”, the Snuipp-FSU had called for a national strike for Thursday, January 13, joined by most of the other teachers’ unions , SE-Unsa, Snes-FSU, Snalc, CGT Educ’action, SUD Éducation, FO and CFDT.

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