13 October 2018
FPSS-CSQ tour in North
“The austerity measures had a significant impact on student services on Cree and Kativik school boards. The lack of school support staff is particularly acute, resulting in many student not receiving the services entitled to them. ”
This is the situation denounced by Eric Pronovost, president of the Federation of Support Staff (FPSS-CSQ), during a three-day tour to Kuujjuaq to meet with support staff.
Accompanied by Larry Imbeault, President of the Association of Employees of Northern Quebec (AENQ-CSQ), Éric Pronovost gave a portrait of the situation of school support staff at the Cree School Board (CSB) and the Kativik School Board ( KSB).
There is important lack of resources in these two school boards. There is a lack of specialized education technicians and social service workers, and even if the ministry has added resources, it’s not enough. “There was no hiring of additional staff. Distances, isolation, overwork and lack of recognition have a direct impact on recruitment. Attraction and retention measures should be put in place, “says the president of AENQ-CSQ.
In the case of the two school boards, Mr. Imbeault deplores the fact that the staff members who are hired locally do not enjoy the same working conditions, including housing and annual outings, as those hired from more than 50 kilometers.
Concerning students with handicaps, social maladjustments and learning difficulties (EHDAA), Mr. Pronovost notice “the lack of identification of these students, which leads to underfunding of services. To benefit from specific budgets that would meet the needs of these young people, their problems must be recognized “.
State of the buildings
As for the condition of the buildings, it varies. Establishments of the CSB have an average of 23 years, with a degree of obsolescence considered very bad or bad at 41%. “Schools, centers and residences need to be renovated. Therefore it is essential to maintain the investments necessary to keep these establishments up to standard, “pleads the president of the AENQ-CSQ.
KSB establishments have an average of 30 years, with a degree of age considered very bad or bad at 12%. “Investments must be made to ensure their maintenance, especially since the northern climate is very rigorous and therefore very demanding for these buildings,” says the president of the AENQ-CSQ.
Importance of support staff
In closing, the President of the FPSS-CSQ invites school boards to take into account the support staff and the important role they play every day in the smooth running of our schools and centers. “Knowing the school boards’ desire to improve educational success in their territory, I would like to point out that the support staff shares the same concern and could be part of the solution to improve our public education system. “, concludes Éric Pronovost.