150 total staff and students at the University of Paris 8

Photo credit: Permanent Revolution

This Tuesday was the General Assembly that brought together students and teaching staff at the call of Paris 8 trade unions (CGT, La Dionysoise, SNASUB, SUD) and student organizations (Le Poing Levé, Solidaires, NPA, UNEF-UEAF). . About 150 people gathered to prepare for the fight against the pension reform: ” All said that the reform was deeply anti-social and that it was an attack by capital on the business world, but also on the youth who would be the most affected by this reform. “, explains Pablo, teacher and activist at CGT Paris 8.

He follows: ” We discussed a lot about how to win, how to achieve mobilization, but also on the question of uncertainty, especially on the Paris 8 faculty, we discussed unifying demands by asking for student wages. Today, it makes up 40% of students Student those who have to work in parallel with their studies, limit their ability to follow the courses diligently. Furthermore, a trade union member explains: Speaking of retirement, building a student income would be a way to increase contributions to a retirement fund. »

Other unitary demands, such as retirement at age 60, a 32-hour week, wage increases, equal pay for men and women, and even demands related to issues more specific to the higher education sector, were met by consensus in the General Assembly. an increase in the number of students without an increased budget allocated to this sector.

Pablo explains: This means tens of thousands more students in higher education without additional resources. In addition, the university is a small village, therefore it runs a lot of small businesses, creates jobs, more if we talk about student employment… A university like Paris 8 is more than 2000 permanent jobs, plus all the work related to construction. »

The issue of selection was also discussed during the General Assembly. “Parcoursup” and “Find My Master” platforms are the most vivid examples of this. Indeed, these highly uneven platforms fail thousands of students every year. In the context of the autonomy of universities and their competition, where LPR constitutes a new deepening, this choice of students at the entrance of universities is becoming more and more strict.

A direct consequence of the neoliberal projects of the bourgeoisie and the government is to make higher education more available to the needs of employers, as the increasingly professionalization of secondary school students. ” Creating more universities is the real answer to selection platforms like Parcoursup or Trouve Mon Master, which hide places to avoid the question of lack of university places and lack of resources. ”, notes Pablo.

The General Assembly also outlined the beginning of a battle plan to combat reform. Pablo says: Remembering that we won well in 2019, we talked specifically about how to win. Indeed, it was not Covid that pulled the government back, we remember that in higher education, the research programming law (LPR), which we also went on strike, was passed during the Covid era, during retirement. the project is dead and buried.

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What made this victory possible was the scale of the strike and its impact on strategic sectors such as SNCF, oil refineries and RATP. In addition, in 2019, the large amount of support on the picket lines, as well as the financial support given to them, made it possible for these mobilizations to be held economically and morally. “In this sense, Pablo emphasizes the importance of building a struggle” inter-union and inter-professional “.

There, we were at the first General Meeting, mobilization had not started, absentee week and classes had not yet resumed and we were already 150. “, Pablo explains. A very promising result for the continuation of the mobilization in Paris 8. The General Assembly concluded with the prospects of fighting this reform: ” We voted for the 19th strike, we planned to make a general march of research and higher education of the Paris 8, which allows us to maintain inter-organizational and inter-union dynamics. To continue, he recalled the calendar of the petrochemical and energy CGT with the idea of ​​growing the movement to build a general strike. Pablo says.

As the oil refineries, the electricity sector, SNCF, RATP and National Education and others prepare to fight against the pension reform, Higher Education is also preparing to face this attack on the historic achievement of the business world. Like the fight against the pension reform in 2019, to get the reform back, the mass strike and its professional and inter-union character are needed.

The General Assembly calls for a demonstration and strike on January 19th and for the next General Assembly next Wednesday at 12:30 p.m.: come in large numbers!

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