Chiapas CNTE holds consultations on ending strike
One of the shopping plazas closed by protesting teachers in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas
By: Angeles Mariscal
Teachers of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) carried out consultations in their more than 800 delegations in the state to make a decision about ending the strike that started last May 15 and return to classes. The federal government proposed, extra-officially, suspending de facto the application of the education reform only in Chiapas, through an agreement that would be in effect starting from reaching agreement until the end of the presidential term (sexenio). 
During the assembly held last Friday, dissident teachers announced the federal government’s proposal. According to Manuel Mendoza, the CNTE’s leader in the state’s indigenous zone, the federal government’s proposal was made verbally and includes, besides considering Chiapas as a state of emergency, revising the conditions in which education is imparted within the state, in terms of infrastructure and capacity building, to attain some improvements.
The promises also include that their wages would not be docked nor any teacher fired that participated in mobilizations against the education reform, and a program would be implemented for capacity building and incentives for those who wish to participate in the evaluations, above all for those who will be contracted under the new scheme.
During the assembly, at first the teachers decided to continue the strike, because the proposal to suspend the application of the reform was only to the Chiapas teachers; however the decision of the Oaxaca teachers to return to classes next Wednesday, opened the possibility of reaching their own agreements.
Therefore, according to what the CNTE’s spokesperson, José Luis Escobar, announced during this week and until September 9 when they hold the state assembly, the teachers will hold consultations in their more than 800 delegations, in which the parents and organizations that have supported the labour strike also participate.
He explained that faced with the decision of the Oaxaca teachers, the viability of continuing the strike alone must be analysed in Chiapas. He said that if in the delegation assemblies they make the decision to end the strike and return to classes, it does not mean the end of the movement to attain the abrogation of the education reform, but rather re-proposing a new strategy for achieving it.
They agreed to maintain protest actions while they are carrying out the consultation in which it is foreseen that teachers of the indigenous zone will oppose ending the strike because there is no formal written proposal. Today they again closed shopping plazas in the capital; in one of them business owners and their workers placed themselves at the doors in order to impede entry to the demonstrators.
They hung canvas banners with the slogan “CNTE: We’re at home, we need to work.” Nevertheless, the demonstrators did achieve closing the establishments.
 Sexenio means a six-year term of office. Here, the reference is to the six-year term of current President Enrique Peña Nieto that ends in December 2018.
Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo
Monday, September 5, 2016
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee
Oaxaca Dissident Teachers Return to Schools, Saying “the Struggle Continues”
Proceso: Oaxaca, Oaxaca. Thirteen days into the school year, the teachers of Section 22 of the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE) who are members of the CNTE [the dissident National Coordinating Committee of Education Workers] decided to return to the classroom, but clarified that their return to teaching does not mean a defeat, because their struggle continues.
Meanwhile, the Secretariat of Education began proceedings to dismiss 1,239 thousand teachers in Oaxaca for accumulating more than three unexcused absences, as provided for in Article 76 of the General Law of the Professional Teaching Service [core part of the education reform].
In a ceremony in Asuncion Nochixtlán, the Political Commission of Section 22 noted that the bloodshed there on June 19, that left 8 dead and over 100 injured, will not be in vain because “we are never going to bow down before an imposed policy. The fight is for the students and for them we will never abandon our struggle,” they warned.
…They insisted that no reform is possible without the participation of students, parents and teachers, however, they said, “we return [to the schools] to fulfil the commitment to students, because educational work is also a political action.”
Finally, they stressed that “in Oaxaca we will never give in. This battle doesn’t end, on the contrary, it is starting because hard times are coming, but that does not scare us.”
Previously, the teachers had said that their struggle would not end with the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year, but would continue until a national position was established on [the repeal of] the education reform…
Translated by Reed Brundage
Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity on 09/09/2016