Assemblée générale

After hearing so much about these during the anti-CPE struggle I was very pleased to be present at one on my first day at work.

There was a meeting for all the English teachers, the idea being to introduce new members of staff and to say farewell to two who were retiring. The Director was asked about a post and we were told that it had been redeplyed to the Spanish department. He tried to counter the anger of the teachers by arguing that an immediate response was strategically unwise. There were around 90 people present and around 20 people addressed the meeting, only one other was against action. After discussions on how best to respond the meeting drafted two motions:

1. A condamnation of the loss of this post and the subsequent effects upon staff and students. This motion was passed with no abstentions and no votes against.

2. A condemnation of the loss of the post and the mack of consultation. There was a demand for real negotiations with the management. This motion was passed with 79 for, 7 abstentions and none against.

The older members of staff were more vocal during the meeting, although younger members contributd. I was the first non-teacher to vote, after I voted the others did too.

It was very intresting that the teachers were very aware of the strategic elements involved. They recognised that this was a test of a traditionally militant department's strength after the draining anti-CPE struggle. Transferring the post was an attempt to pit two departments against each other. The new post in the Spanish department would in itself be not secure and liable to be lost next year. It was firmly decided that they wanted the post in the English department re-instated but not at the expense of the new post in the Spanish department. The unions were mentioned but the general consensus was that while their support would be useful once action had begun, they would not instigate it and that the staff must act for themselves themselves.

After watching two AUT strikes be comfortably defeated seeiong such militancy was refreshing, even if nothing comes of it.

Posted By

jef costello
Sep 26 2006 19:09

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