Sunday 2 October 2011

French Teachers on Strike (again).

It's Sunday, and as most bloggers are away visiting family, charity shops, and theme parks, I shall indulge myself with this short moan.

A handful of children turned up at our house earlier on in the week for a swim. When I asked them why they weren't at school they replied 'our teachers are on strike again'.

When I was their age (about 10ish) I don't think I even knew what a 'strike' was. Sadly these children are only too aware, as, here in France, it's become a regular occurrence.

During my brief teaching career I wouldn't have dreamed of skipping a day's work, let alone going on strike. If I'd felt that angry about my employment conditions, I'd simply have handed in my notice and found another job.

It reminds me of a televised conversation between a Japanese car worker and an English Trades Union leader. The Japanese worker worked so hard, and for such long hours, that as soon as he left for home each evening he fell fast asleep on the train. The 'terribly concerned' Union boss asked him why he didn't go on strike. The Japanese worker replied 'it wouldn't be in the interest of my company'.

Can it ever be in the interest of school children for their teachers to go out on strike? I think NOT. What sort of lesson does it teach!

I should also add that the teaching profession in France has it pretty good. Not only the usual long holidays, but early retirement, and a fabulously generous pension. Not a lot to moan about.


  1. bloody hell
    it's just like Les Miserables

  2. They strike here too...the husband goes ballistic each and every time. We got our daughter through school before it became popular to go on strike. It's ridiculous. Usually the issue is about being paid for preparation time.

  3. In this present economic climate, the only people who can afford to retire are government employees. I think anyone who has that type of job, should be quiet and thankful.

  4. The photo above was actually taken on the strike day last week. They all look rather young, and probably haven't yet learned how to count blessings!

  5. Cro...I couldn't put this in comments on MY blog cause then I would have given the answer heroine was Nancy Drew but seeing as it would be me living her life..I had to age her (a bit). "Crazy as a brush" pretty much describes me to a tee.

  6. One of the things that I greatly admire about the French is that they stand up for themselves and are neither slow nor afraid to protest.

  7. Me too Heron... but in this case...

  8. If the teachers' priority is education, staying out of the classroom and thereby denying students access to that education while they take their grievances to the streets is a funny way of showing it.


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