Oaxaca union leaders raise their fists in salute. Teachers' union leaders raise their fists in salute.

Teachers reconsider; schools will reopen

Oaxaca union local reverses decision to boycott start of school year

Oaxaca teachers, who appear to be split over job action, have reversed an earlier decision to ignore the federally-mandated start of the school year on Monday.

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An assembly yesterday of Section 22, the Oaxaca local of the CNTE teachers’ union, decided to return to classes despite opposition from a radical element within the organization that promoted a boycott of the first day of school.

Education reforms, and particularly a new evaluation process for existing teachers and new hires, has rankled the union since they were introduced by the federal government in 2013.

Earlier yesterday, the union said teachers would start the new school year on Friday, September 1.

While classes look set to resume for 1.3 million students, the teachers’ union plans to continue its blockades of strategic thoroughfares to press the state government to respond to its demands.

The situation is not new to Oaxaca, where teachers have mounted annual protests for years.

The latest protests brought an admonishment from the business community, which claims they have caused economic damage of 250 million pesos (US $14 million).

“We’re not asking the government to employ heavy-handed tactics,” said a business leader, but to act “with agility” to attend to the demands of those who are blockading the roads.

Carlos Guzmán lamented what he sees as a return to the conduct of the previous state government, which he said distanced itself from the problem, causing widespread chaos in the state.

Much of Oaxaca was virtually shut down last summer by the teachers’ union’s highway blockades.

Monday’s start of the 2017-2018 school year will see 25.6 million students attend classes in 224,976 schools.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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