The government must not ignore the needs of school support staff

26 January 2023

Public Sector Negotiations

“The first meeting with the Management Committee for the negotiation of Francophone school service centers took place last Friday, we reminded them that the government must not ignore the needs of school support staff” declares Éric Pronovost, president of the Fédération school support staff (FPSS-CSQ). Passing through the Vaudreuil-Dorion region, Mr. Pronovost met with the school support staff of the Trois-Lacs School Services Center to talk about the negotiations in progress.

Accompanied by the president of the Syndicat du personnel de soutien des Trois-Lacs (SPSTL-CSQ), Éric Vézina, they will address the subjects of staff shortages, problems attracting and retaining manpower, the violence suffered by school support staff and disappointing management demands.

Improve the quality of school support staff jobs

Éric Pronovost mentions “If we want to put an end to the shortage of support staff in schools, we will necessarily have to provide them with more attractive working conditions. The negotiations will be long and arduous, because the point of rapprochement seems far away. »

Critical situation in Vaudreuil-Dorion

The situation is particularly critical in the Vaudreuil-Dorion region. “We still have positions that are not filled, we are not competitive enough with private companies. There are still too many part-time schedules, it does not allow to have a sufficient income. The average salary is $24,522 due to insufficient hours. We still have 14-hour shifts per week,” exclaims Éric Vézina.

A majority affected by violence

Violence affects half of the school support staff in the Vaudreuil-Dorion region. These are rarely single incidents, since more than half of the victims (60%) suffered at least two distinct acts, one of a physical nature and the other of a non-physical nature. These include shouting, swearing, profanity, throwing objects, intimidation and threats. Mr. Vézina admits that “we must be able to intervene effectively with students, because this is the source of violence in 84% of cases in our school service centre. We can only prevent by having the right number of resources and, in the current context, we are too often in the emergency response, rather than working upstream”.

Act locally and nationally

The president of the SPSTL-CSQ recognizes that “there are national issues for which we work with our federation, but there are also local issues for which the school service center has the tools to remedy them. We should not wait for the end of the negotiations to settle things that could be settled now. Managers need to recognize the essential work of school support staff. The managers of the school service center must also be attentive to the problems experienced and named by the members who have solutions to propose to improve working conditions, facilitate the retention of personnel and encourage the filling of the banks of candidates. for replacements and vacancies”.

National requests

School support staff make up 40% of the people working in schools across the province. Whether administrative, manual, technical, paratechnical or direct student services, these people contribute to education by supporting the work of teachers, professionals and management. Mr. Pronovost concludes “without school support staff, schools and centers would not be able to function. The government must recognize our essential contribution to education. We need to find solutions so that people choose a career in education and stay there.”