Mexico news Dec. 12
Subject: Mexico News DAILY December 12, 2012 |
SNTE reaches out to Peña Nieto
Development: On 11 December Juan Díaz de la Torre, the secretary general of Mexico's main teachers union, Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (SNTE), gave the union's backing for President Enrique Peña Nieto’s new education reform proposals.
Significance: The ambitious proposal would reform the sector for the first time in decades, potentially threatening the SNTE’s iron clad grip over the sector under its leader, Elba Esther Gordillo. Díaz de la Torre's statements suggest that the union is prepared to cooperate. Getting the SNTE on board would represent an important political victory for the new government; with Peña Nieto showing an early capacity for consensus building on complex issues.
• At a press conference in which he took no questions, Díaz de la Torre stated that the SNTE supported the call for reform, pointing out that some of the proposals – such as a national census of teachers - were previously floated by the SNTE. He noted that the SNTE's strategy has always been to engage in "fluid and constructive dialogue" with the government.
• Díaz de la Torre accused the SNTE’s critics of fomenting rumours about the union’s opposition to reform. He complained that these (unidentified) critics wanted to "stigmatise" the union and create "a perception of confrontation with the government" with the sole aim of promoting their own objective, which he described as “a push for privatisation".
• However, yesterday the smaller Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (CNTE) union released a statement rejecting Peña Nieto's proposal. It cited concerns that it would promote the privatisation of the education sector and would reduce teachers' job security.
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