Radical teachers in Michoacán have broken ranks with the CNTE union by refusing to lift one of their rail blockades.
Section 18 of the union reached an agreement with state and federal authorities over the weekend that included a renewal of its commitment to remove the blockades, which have stranded hundreds of trains and cost the economy billions of pesos.
The CNTE said in a statement that “the tactical withdrawal agreement involves clearing the railway tracks in order to progress to a second tripartite meeting with the state and federal governments.”
However, teachers who belong to the National Front of Struggle for Socialism (FNLS) and the National Democratic Executive Committee (CEND) of the SNTE union have maintained a rail blockade at Caltzontzin in the municipality of Uruapan and only lifted one at Pátzcuaro last night.
In the former location, the teachers agreed to remove their blockade but threatened instead to barricade the municipal palace complex and shopping centers, among other locations. In the end, they did neither.
Meanwhile, Morena party lawmakers in the Michoacán Congress called on teachers to end their protests and go back to the classroom in order to “make peace with society.”
In a statement, the party’s parliamentary group urged Section 18 of the CNTE union “to participate . . . in dialogue with the will to build agreements that make guaranteeing children’s right to education their priority.”
Michoacán Governor Silvano Aureoles said today that he had ordered the payment of money still owed to teachers.
He also said that he will send a proposal to the state’s Congress to reassign education funding to ensure that there are resources to meet the payroll.
The Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) governor added that the state is ready to resume trilateral talks and find a “real solution” to the conflict.
“This only depends on the CNTE notifying us when we can resume the work of the tripartite committee,” Silvano said in a video posted to his Twitter account.
“[I’m committed to] once and for all resolving the outstanding issues with teachers for the good of the education of our boys and girls and for the good of the development of our state,” he added.
The union said yesterday it had prepared a counter-proposal following the first meeting with authorities and that it will submit it to federal Education Secretary Esteban Moctezuma and the Michoacán governor.
Most schools in Michoacán have now been closed for 22 days.