Gironde: “I earn around the minimum wage even though I am in front of students and I have a bac+5”, points out a contract worker

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back to school In Gironde, the number of contract teachers renewed or recruited for this 2023 school year in primary education is equal to, or will even exceed, the number of new civil servant teachers recruited by competitive examination

Gironde: « I earn around the minimum wage while I am in front of students and I have a bac+5», points out a contract worker

A maths teacher writing on the blackboard. (Illustration) — Getty Images/iStockphoto

  • Contract teachers, recruited outside the national education competition, are more and more numerous in front of first level students (nursery and elementary) in Gironde.
  • If some are happy to be able to exercise a profession which attracts them, they all criticize the precariousness of contracts and the very low salaries.
  • The FO union is asking to increase the number of places in the school teacher competition, while there is no shortage of candidates in the department, while securing tenure for those contract workers who wish.

Emilie*, 36 years old, is a contract teacher, that is to say she has been a teacher. recruited out of competition by National Education. Since last week, she has known that she will have to go to class this Monday, the first day of the school year, at school. 26 toddlers in the small and medium kindergarten section, including one with autism. “Since then, I've been preparing for my lessons diligently,” says the young woman. I went to the ministry website to see the programs and make them my own. And, I do a lot of research, you have to organize yourself to find your way through the learning and also imagine supports.»

Freshly promoted to teaching since All Saints' Day 2022, Emilie already knows how to work. that this return to school is going to be intense and presages fifty-hour weeks, even if this pace calms down a little afterwards. “It’s a profession in which you always have to look for solutions, she believes. And, in kindergarten we are also asked to give a lot of attention, affection, and to reassure the young parents of students who are sometimes a little lost. Although she followed the Meef teaching master's degree (teaching, education and training professions), the thirty-year-old did not want to take the course. pass the competitive examination because she did not envisage having to leave Bordeaux where she had to go. she has her family life. To give herself maximum chances, she should take the exam in the Paris region. She was territorial civil servant in a community before returning to teaching via the opening of places at contractual candidates.


The recruitment of contract workers in Gironde is “exponential”, points out Delphine Marin, departmental secretary of Fnec FP FO. For this start of the 2023 school year, 190 civil servant trainees were recruited. recruited by competitive examination in the department, including around thirty on the complementary list. And at the same time, 38 neo-contractual teachers recruited and 225 contract teachers renewed or permanent contracts as of July 1, 2023, according to information from the Bordeaux rectorate. « A recruitment unit for contractual staff was created. created, it works transversally with the management services of the rectorate. As a result, recruitment and/or contract extensions could be anticipated, specifies the rectorate. New contract workers are trained and retained.

For the FO union, more positions should be opened for competition, even though in Gironde there is no shortage of candidates. Each year the number of teachers recruited through the competitive examination decreases and, up to Last year, there was not even recourse to the additional list before recruiting contract workers. The union also advocates a tenure plan for contract workers who wish it. “We use them as fillers, deplores Delphine Marin. At the beginning they were on permanent positions and now on replacement positions, but without the compensation. [of travel] that civil servant teachers receive. »

Low pay and precarious status

Remuneration is one of the big downsides of this contractual status. Lydie*, 37 years old, in professional retraining after a first career in interior design, has been a contract teacher for six years, with an interruption due to lack of recruitment in 2019/2020. . “We have a salary that doesn’t change, that’s the negative point, and it’s not a very high salary, points out the 30-year-old, already having a good salary. that that of a civil servant is not. » Lydie validated the master Meef but did not succeed in to win the competition, attempted à three times. If she likes her job which she describes as a “vocation”, she would like a permanent contract, more stable, not seeking tenure.

Instead of an internal competition (accessible after three years of contracts without interruption), the young woman pleads for valorization of the experience acquired in class, in contact with students. “It’s a job that no longer appeals and is very complicated,” she argues. Now, we do the job on the ground and we are told, because I can tell you that in Gironde in any case, we are being monitored.»

«  They are sent to the pipebreaker»

“I am very poorly paid, less well paid than in my previous position,” explains Emilie, while I’ recruited without the baccalaureate level. I am not far from the minimum wage (1,383 euros net per month) to be in front of students, with a bac+5 and that is not normal. In the private sector, I would earn more but I am passionate about this job which brings me a lot. However, I don't see myself making an entire career there, given the instability.

That leaves the work-study contract workers, Master 2 Meef students to whom the administration offers to hold a class on their own, one day a week. “The department gains enormously because they do the work efficiently and effectively. the place of a tenured teacher, deplores Delphine Marin. They are sent to the pipebreaker. » To guide them during this dive into the deep end, we generously offer them a key. USB “classroom handling”… Finally, if the trial period for contract workers is one month, the unions do not know what part is being given up during this period. But Delphine Marin assures her, “some leave to be better paid by doing less work”.

*The first name was ;summer changed à the request of the person interviewed.