Striking teachers agree to ‘deeper’ talks with government but vow to maintain roadblocks
MEXICO CITY — While striking teachers vow that their mobilization will continue, their union has agreed to join in three rounds of talks with the Mexican government to solve the conflict and reach a lasting solution.
“We have managed to establish a route to defuse the conflict and reach a lasting agreement.” With these words the Interior Minister, Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, welcomed the agreement reached with the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE). His brief dialogue with the press came near midnight Monday July 11 in Mexico City, when he outlined steps to continue to resolve the conflict and reach a final solution.
After the fourth meeting between the Government and Mexican teachers, the decision was reached to deepen dialogue on various aspects of educational reform and build a change that is beneficial for all parties.
The first session of the “deeper” talks between the government and teachers union will take place Wednesday July 13. The talks will focus on the the political aspect of educational reform sought by the Government of President Enrique Peña Nieto. This reform is at the heart of the conflict that has resulted in arrests of their leaders and confrontations with police that have caused eight deaths reported to the authorities. The teachers aim to achieve that this reform is repealed.
The second roundtable talks will be held on July 19 and will address in depth the educational issues facing teachers who work in the poorest areas of Mexico, including the creation a new educational model. Finally, the social aspect of the conflict will be the focus of discussion at the negotiating table to be held on July 21.
Despite the agreement, the teachers said they will continue to mobilize and maintain roadblocks throughout the country. “The mobilization continues, this does not change our plan of action, it simply provides the opportunity for negotiation now to speak for the entire movement,” Adelfo Gomez, union leader in Chipas, said after the meeting with the Interior Minister.