Teachers affiliated with the dissident CNTE teachers’ union can now take time off for demonstrations and blockades — and get paid.
The previous federal government docked teachers’ salaries if they were absent from the classroom but President López Obrador said yesterday that teachers have the right to protest and earn their salary.
“No, no, no,” he said, “there will be no discounts to salaries; teachers have the right to protest . . .”
He pointed out that job action has not been an issue. “. . . in the time we’ve been in government there have been no frequent strikes, children have continued to have classes and there has been no major issue.”
The president stressed that “this is what democracy is like; when there are no more strikes it means that the political system is dead . . . there must be demonstrations, different points of view . . . this is democracy.”
López Obrador also explained that his administration is considering analyzing a rule that prohibits the payment of salaries to teachers assigned to positions in the union. At present they must be physically present in the classroom to get paid.
The policy was part of the 2013 educational reforms, “and we are for its complete cancellation, all of its policies.”
That’s what CNTE members are hoping as they begin another protest today outside the Chamber of Deputies. A spokesman said teachers will continue to protest until “not even a comma remains” of the education reform of 2013.
The union threatened to shut down the legislature as they did several times last month if their demands are not met.
Union leaders had announced that 40,000 teachers would march at today’s rally, but the newspaper Reforma said about 1,500 turned up.