Paris (AFP)

Jean-Michel Blanquer hammered Wednesday that the pension reform will not lower the pensions of teachers to try to reassure the profession, but the strike Thursday against the pension reform is already announced very well.

Most teachers' unions called the 900,000 or so teachers to strike. According to them, pension reform could penalize the profession if it is not accompanied by salary increases. Simulators have circulated in recent weeks, waving the threat of losses of up to 900 euros per month.

On the eve of this mobilization which promises to be "historic" according to several unions, the Minister of Education has tried to calm the game.

"The guarantee I give today (Wednesday) is that the pensions will not go down," Jean-Michel Blanquer told reporters during a visit to the Paris rectorate, promising to achieve this. pay increases.

On Tuesday, he had already sent a letter to all teachers in France in which he undertakes to guarantee their "level of pensions".

But these promises do not make the faculty back down. According to Snuipp-FSU, the main primary union, nearly 70% of teachers declared themselves strikers for Thursday and 40% of schools will be closed. In secondary schools, the Snes-FSU (first union secondary) provides him, about 60% of strikers.

Jean-Michel Blanquer has announced that he expects a strike rate of 55% in primary schools, with a peak of 78% of strikers expected in Paris.

According to the ministry, the most mobilized cities would then be Rennes (68% of strikers), Montpellier, Versailles and Créteil (more than 60%).

"According to our estimates, about 30% of schools will be able to provide" a minimum service of reception, "for the rest, it depends on what the municipalities are able to do on a case by case basis", added Mr. Blanquer .

- "Cocotte minute" -

In Paris, half of the schools (about 300) could be completely closed Thursday, without a reception is proposed by the services of the city. This minimum reception service (SMA) could only be provided in three schools. "I will call the mayor of Paris (Anne Hidalgo) to see if we can not do better," said the minister. "This is not normal".

In secondary school (middle and high school), the ministry expects a rate of strikers of about 50%.

Sabine, a math teacher in a Parisian high school, will be among the strikers: "we can not agree to lose as much with the pension reform, while already not well paid," she told AFP.

The valorization promised by M. Blanquer, she does not believe in it at all. "I am suspicious and I fear that this will be conditioned by new constraints such as longer working hours".

Like many colleagues, she also wants to defend a profession "attacked for several months", according to her, by various reforms.

"The climate is detestable, the pressure cooker is about to explode," says Christophe, 56, a CP teacher in Montreuil (Seine-Saint-Denis). "We will always demand more teachers, who are already exhausted".

He will strike on Thursday, but also "on the 6th, the 9th, the 10th ... until we obtain" the withdrawal of the reform, he assures.

Government assurances have not convinced her at all. "In order not to lose in pensions, with the reform, teachers' salaries should be increased by 1,000 euros per month!", She calculates. Before concluding: "it's just impossible to believe it".

© 2019 AFP