Proposals to Address the Labour Shortage

13 March 2019

Over the last few months, I had the opportunity to visit the executive members of sixteen of the unions affiliated to our federation.  One of the many problems we encountered was the shortage of manpower.

I have made several interventions on this issue with the Ministry of Education, the Minister, the media… in short, any forum in which I have had the chance to speak.  I know that manpower shortages are critical in many employment classes.

Pressure and Competition

It was made clear to me that the staff who provide frontline services to students are those feeling the most pressure caused by understaffing.  Depending on the region, the manual, administrative, technical and paratechnical sectors are facing competition from the private sector and other public sector employers.

Journalists and the media always ask the same thing: Why?

Reduce Precariousness

Workers given a decent number of working hours, along with an attractive salary sufficient to pay their bills, will clearly remain in their jobs. If a school board offers only 13 hours a week, the worker will need to resort to food banks, even more so if her wages are low.

It’s time to put an end to small jobs.  Needs in the education milieu are dire.  Let’s be creative, people in the community have a lot of ideas about how to proceed.

Improve Working Conditions

My father always told me we should love what we do!  We spend a third of our life at work; if are unhappy in what we do, we need to change the workplace.  All too often, there is no time allotted for planning.  All too often, workloads are increased with no commensurate increase in hours or resources.  We end up working through our breaks, our lunch hours, before and after our normal work days

Appreciation

And after all your hard work, are you appreciated?  Are you ever told you are doing a good job?  Too often, you are subject to reproaches or contempt.  You need to continue to demonstrate your importance, to say that you, school support staff, are also education.

Éric Pronovost, President