FPSS-CSQ survey on the return to school

18 January 2022

School support staff are overwhelmed, overloaded and worried about the quality of services students are receiving 

After it was announced that schools would reopen on January 17, 2022, the Fédération du personnel de soutien scolaire (FPSS-CSQ) surveyed its members to find out what they think about the conditions in which this return is being handled by the CAQ government.

“The responses we got from this survey conducted by the Federation are unequivocal.  School support staff are overwhelmed and overloaded! The working conditions of our members continue to deteriorate.  This will do nothing to make school support staff jobs any more attractive at a time when we are already experiencing a labour shortage!” says FPSS-CSQ President Éric Pronovost.  “Aside from the work overload, our members are concerned about the quality of services offered to students who have less and less access to the help they need to succeed,” adds Pronovost.

Staffing needs

Nearly four out of five respondents have seen their tasks increase.  Some even said the increase was significant (40.7%).

More than four out of five respondents say there are major staff shortages, or they are overworked.

Work overload

Work overload is pervasive, affecting certain job classes more than others.

This is true of administrative staff, for example.  When we compare data from this survey with a survey conducted in May 2020, when schools reopened at the beginning of the pandemic, a significant increase in tasks is reported. This is indicative of a significant deterioration in working conditions.

Tasks of administrative personnel January 2022 May 2020 Variation
They have greatly increased 43.8% 12.6% +31.2%
They have slightly increased 32.2% 23.9% +8.3%
They are the same 19.2% 33.8% -14.6%
They have slightly decreased 2.8% 19.4% -16.6%
They have significantly decreased 0.8% 7.2% -6.4%

Resource people (parent volunteers)

Members reacted strongly to the notion of adding resource people from outside the school, such as parent volunteers.  Nearly nine out of ten respondents (89%) do not agree that these resource people should be permitted to supervise children in daycare.

The comments on this topic were explicit, the quality of services and the safety of our children must be maintained.

N95 masks

Nearly 70% of respondents would like N95 masks to be made available to school personnel.

Some of those who do not wish to have them were concerned about the difficulty of breathing in these masks.  People should therefore have the option of choosing between the N95 and the procedural masks currently in use, as the FPSS-CSQ has been requesting from the government since December 30, 2021.

Increase in daycare ratios

Respondents reacted strongly to the proposal in the contingency plan to modify ratios in daycares, with nine out of ten respondents (94.1%) disagreeing.

Once again, the comments were explicit, because since the onset of the pandemic, the problem of ratios not being respected has been exacerbated.  In addition to taking care of students, staff are also required to frequently disinfect games and work surfaces, taking care to comply with all sanitary measures.


The survey on the January 17th reopening of schools was posted online from January 13, 2022, at 3 p.m. to January 17 at 8:15 a.m.  School support staff working in school service centers or school boards were invited to complete the survey on one of the various digital platforms of the FPSS-CSQ. 2,728 responded.

Most of the respondents work in frontline student services, i.e., 2,000 (73.3%) of the respondents.  395 (14.5%) of the respondents were administrative personnel.

This survey has a confidence level of 95% and a margin of error of 2.2%.