31 March 2020
Still no premium for guardian angels in emergency daycare services
“It makes no sense!” says the Fédération du personnel de soutien scolaire
The Fédération du personnel de soutien scolaire (FPSS-CSQ) is not giving up, but the government is still refusing to grant a premium for staff working in emergency daycare services.
Clipping the wings of our guardian angels
“This makes no sense! For two and half weeks, we have been listening to Prime Minister Legault thank the guardian angels working at the front. Today, he has an opportunity to demonstrate concrete gratitude to the employees in emergency daycare services, but instead, he is clipping their wings!” says FPSS-CSQ President Éric Pronovost.
These state employees are already working in underpaid jobs, where many earn barely more than $2,000 a month. Now they are being asked to take serious risks with their health by working in emergency daycare services, without offering them any compensation in return.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, the FPSS-CSQ and its 30,000 members have been major allies of the government, essential in maintaining the emergency daycare services currently in place.
“Despite our exceptional collaboration, we don’t seem to count at all! Not only are there still no uniform directives on hygienic measures to be taken in the daycare services currently in operation, which itself is completely unacceptable, there is also no additional monetary recognition being offered,” says Pronovost. “This is revolting! We are not cannon fodder!”
For some time, the government has been saying the fight we are currently waging against COVID-19 will last for weeks. “At a certain point, Legault should not be surprised if school support staff begin to demobilize,” says Éric Pronovost. “We are already witnessing ordinary citizens trying to cope with anxiety in this crisis. Imagine how staff working in the field, in emergency daycares, can feel. We are feeling it already, our members are severely affected and it’s not a pretty picture.”
And what about the risk?
When the government sets salary scales for its employees, it takes into account several factors that increase the wages of certain job categories. Risk is one of these factors. Unlike first responders, support staff who choose to work in daycare services have not chosen an “at-risk” job. So, their wages are not calculated on the basis of risk. “But now we are imposing an enormous amount of risk on them, without offering them anything in return. We have to wonder what they are worth to society and to the government,” says the President of the FPSS-CSQ.