Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Oaxaca's governor caves to school teachers, pays them $92 million dollars for 40 days not yet worked

His decision was pragmatic, but it won't be popular with many

*Updated Oct. 16 - CNTE extortion continues, this time in Michoacán*

Guadalajara - In the end, teachers collected all their back pay and bonuses in Mexico's southwestern Oaxaca state, even though 76,000 of them just began the 2013-14 school year yesterday.

When school officially resumed Aug. 19, members of the powerful Coordinadora Nacional de los Trabajadores de la Educación (CNTE) were not standing at their whiteboards. Continued teacher strikes idle a million students in Oaxaca. Instead, thousands of them were on the streets of Mexico City, where they caused millions of dollars of property damage and economic loss to local commerce. Secret Service locks Mexico City Zócalo

Oaxaca governor Gabino Cué froze teachers' pay on Aug. 31, and promised they wouldn't receive a dime until they had made up every missed day. Few would have guessed that the strike would last five more weeks, while the CNTE syndicate tried every trick in the book to force Mexico's federal government to repeal educational reform laws which had just cleared both houses of congress by an aggregate 5-1 majority. Cué also refused to release a special bonus payment educators would have received on the first day of school - had they shown up. Oaxaca freezes pay of CNTE strikers.

But last week union teachers in Oaxaca, getting tired and getting hungry, agreed to return to classes - provided they were paid immediately for all their back time, plus the bonus. That's just what Cué did. Pagan quincenas atrasadas a maestros de Oaxaca. The payments totaled 1.2 billion pesos, over $92 million dollars. Part of the very sweet package included a pay raise, retroactive to last May.

True, teachers had to submit a plan to make up the missed 40 days of classes, which will include longer school days and the elimination of some scheduled holidays. But the thousands of lost hours will not be fully made up until May 2014. In the meantime, union members have all their pay. CNTE representatives announced that public demonstrations - designed to repeal new laws which require teachers to be periodically evaluated for competency, and which prohibit their appointment by union decree - will continue indefinitely in major cities, although presumably not during normal school hours.

Governor Cué folded, many are arguing. And that's why some enraged readers on a national website today called him the "Coward of Oaxaca."

Oct. 16 - Paying an extortion artist usually doesn't work. No sooner did CNTE teachers get their millions in Oaxaca, than union members in Michoacán decided to call an indefinite strike in that state, shutting down schools this morning. Under the just passed educational reforms, any teacher who goes AWOL for three days is automatically terminated. But it's unlikely the government will enforce that clause. It's afraid of CNTE. They're violent, and affiliated with others who are as well.

Oct. 18 - El contagio del abuso magisterial

Sept. 3 - Mexican Human Rights Comm'n. holds Oaxaca Gov. Gabino Cué responsible for state education disaster

Aug. 25 - Opinion: PRI government shows no resolve against thug teachers
Aug. 30 - Oaxaca education at the mercy of omnipotent syndicate
Sept. 2 - Mexico's House of Deputies passes education reforms
Sept. 3 - Mexico's Senate passes education reform bill, as labor unions threaten civil disobedience
Sept. 4 - Oaxaca governor holds tough and refuses to pay dissident teachers
Sept. 14 - Opinion: Elena Poniatowska, entirely out to lunch in New York
Sept. 17 - Mexico City labor violence, through the lens
Sept. 19 - Opinion: Mexico's Left is determined to shackle the nation to the past
Sept. 21 - Opinion: Andrés Manuel's vision for Mexico
Sept. 22 - La CNTE: entre la revolución y los privilegios
Sept. 29 - The "mafia CNTE"
Oct. 1 - Radical teachers' syndicate returns to Mexico City streets, attacking police
Oct. 4 - Mexico City rioters caused millions in damages; PRI, PAN and PRD call for new laws
Oct. 12 - Libera Gabino Cué bono a maestros de la sección 22
Oct. 14 - Pagan quincenas atrasadas a maestros de Oaxaca

© MGR 2013-14. All rights reserved. This article may be cited or briefly quoted with proper attribution or a hyperlink, but not reproduced without permission.

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