The dissident CNTE teachers’ union has categorically rejected Oaxaca Gov. Gabino Cué’s decision to dissolve the Oaxaca State Institute of Public Education (IEEPO), which has been under union control for the past 23 years.
Rubén Núñez, leader of CNTE’s Section 22 local in Oaxaca, described the move as a provocation on Cue’s part, and warned the union is on high alert and will begin to mobilize in a matter of hours. He said its political secretariat has called an urgent meeting to assess the unanticipated development, announced this morning.
Núñez said he was surprised by Cué’s announcement because “any decision regarding IEEPO must be conducted following official and political protocol, and we must be notified beforehand. With the dissolution of IEEPO the governor has committed an act of treason against the state of Oaxaca.”
Section 22 must take action to defend the rights of the workers, he said. Cue “is proving to be part of the neoliberal corporate group, whose sole intention is to privatize education. We don’t know who is going to be in charge after the institute’s dissolution.”
Núñez announced that Section 22 will hold an assembly to determine what actions they will undertake, as “the purpose and objective of Section 22 has always been to defend education.”
Núñez lamented that talks with the government have been suspended since the June 7 elections. “Before the farce on June 7, we were in direct communication with the Interior Undersecretariat and the government of Oaxaca. Since then, any links have been broken and no one has approached us. The [CNTE] has remained in organized resistance, and that’s the path we will continue on.”
Núñez noted that even if IEEPO disappears, education reform will not be applied in the state.
For his part, Joaquín Echeverría, leader of Section 59 of the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE) of Oaxaca, said Section 22 will surely protest the measures taken by Gov. Cué.
“I see hard times coming as I don’t expect the [CNTE] to remain with its arms crossed. What the state government must do is approach and talk to those Section 22-affiliated teachers who oppose the mobilizations and protests, because for the most part they are supported and promoted only by the leadership; teachers at the base have no other option but to do what they are ordered to,” said Echeverría.
National leader of the SNTE, Juan Díaz de la Torre, concurred with Echeverría, declaring that “despite there being groups that will oppose Gov. Cué’s decision, the majority of teachers support the reforms [to the education system of Oaxaca].
Not unexpectedly, the president of the education advocacy group Mexicanos Primero welcomed the news. “It’s a good first step and a sign that they want to do something about education in Oaxaca,” said Claudio X. González, who also charged that “there is a lot of corruption and money behind the [CNTE].”
Source: Milenio (sp)