Mexico’s striking teachers deliver ultimatum

And it’s simple: Move to end the government’s neoliberal education reforms or they’ll walk out before schools open.

President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration has ordered corporate-friendly measures paralleling many of those implemented in the U.S. under the George W. Bush administration, but members of the Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación [CNTE, previously] in the state of Chiapas are stepping up their game.

From teleSUR English:

Dissident Mexican teachers on strike for the past three months in the southern state of Chiapas remain firm that they will not go back to their classrooms for the start of term next week if the government doesn’t agree to put “serious and concrete” proposals on the table in a so far “fruitless” negotiation process that continues Tuesday.

In a nationwide meeting Sunday of more than two dozen union locals, representatives of the National Coordinator of Education Workers, or CNTE, accused authorities in the Ministry of the Interior of working to “manage” the conflict without offering clear solutions and “dragging their feet” in the face of teacher demands to overhaul the public education system, La Jornada reported.

“The grassroots are demanding signed agreements,” said members of the Oaxaca section of the CNTE, criticizing weeks of empty talks, according to La Jornada. “There’s still nothing concrete.”

But despite the impasse, the Ministry of the Interior continued to insist that controversial neoliberal education reforms, the main issue for the striking teachers, are still not on the negotiations agenda, El Proceso reported.

Chiapas teachers have said that their decision on whether to end the strike and go back to classes for the start of the school year on Aug. 22 will depend on the outcome of talks with the government Tuesday afternoon, scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m. local time in Mexico City.


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