Members of the Independent Union of Research Workers of Conacyt Chairs (Siintracatedras) demonstrated outside the facilities of the National Council of Science and Technology (Conacyt) and at its regional headquarters to demand labor rights.
The demonstrators denounce the refusal of Conacyt to sign the collective labor agreement, and the refusal of the Federal Conciliation and Arbitration Board (JFCA) to recognize their right to strike.
Between slogans such as “Without science there is no future” and “We are people doing science”, the researchers, who are part of the Program of the Conacyt Chairs, made a statement.
They explained that since April 20 the Siintracatedras presented to the Ministry of Labor a proposal for a collective agreement, asking Conacyt for its negotiation, but the Council’s response came two months later and has refused to grant them the right to the contract.
Read: FGR will have to rearm accusations against Conacyt academics
The Union had called for a strike; however, yesterday the JFCA determined that the siintracatedras’ request for the negotiation and signing of the collective bargaining agreement and the right to strike for the trade union organization are not appropriate.
“With this decision, the Federal Board sends a message that is not coherent to force the employer, that is, Conacyt, to comply with their obligations,” they said.
Siintracatedras members affirmed that what they are looking for is a contract to have job stability and certainty; they rejected that they want a salary increase, despite the fact that since 2014 they have not received an increase.
Our primary mission is to ensure well-being in Mexican society with research that seeks alternatives to solve environmental, health, social or innovation and technological development problems.#ContratoColectivoDeTrabajoYa pic.twitter.com/I5eFlqyPXU
— SIINTRACATEDRAS (@SCatedras) September 30, 2021
They criticized that the head of Conacyt, María Elena Álvarez Buylla, has refused to meet, despite the fact that they showed willingness and openness.
They affirmed that, on the contrary, the Conacyt issued a new regulation of the program that “intensifies the demands and structural conditions of uncertainty”, bureaucratizes the scientific work and even adds, as an obligation, the search for a job in the institutions where they are assigned.
In the public statement, they lamented that the government does not want to invest in ensuring that science workers have the minimum conditions to perform their work.
Read: Judge stops Conacyt: Researchers from private institutions will remain in the National System
They explained that, in recent days, Conacyt launched a call for new positions for the Chairs program, now called “Researchers for Mexico Modalities I and II”, without having solved the structural problem of job stability and demands for unjustified dismissals.
“They open this call by extending this model of job insecurity to other colleagues, who must adhere to new guidelines that incur in serious violations of their labor human rights,” they said.
They explained that they are not against the opening of new positions and recognize that it is urgent that Conacyt solve the problem presented by the labor market of the scientific sector for the new generations, but they affirm that they do not agree with it doing so “expanding neoliberal forms of hiring.”
Protests are being held in Mexico City, Yucatan, Chihuahua, Michoacán, Sonora, Jalisco, Aguascalientes and Veracruz.
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