27 January 2023
Minister of Education’s Seven Priorities Revealed
The president of the Fédération du personnel de soutien scolaire (FPSS-CSQ), Éric Pronovost, reacts favorably to several of the Minister of Education’s priorities that were revealed this morning, but he wants them to be backed up with concrete actions. He is ready and prepared to work with Minister Drainville to find ways to make this happen.
Help in the Classroom
Regarding the classroom assistance pilot project, Pronovost thinks “it is already off to a good start and school support staff are collaborating in a meaningful way. We have members in 40 establishments out of the 100 that have been selected for the project. We can already see the benefits of the services provided to students and other staff members.”
Regarding Minister Drainville’s announcement to add a second adult to all classes, he adds, “We have been saying for a long time that school support staff are available to help, and we have many members with only a small number of working hours who are just waiting for opportunities to lend a hand in our schools.”
The help they can provide may involve tasks related to student safety, the proper functioning of the class, the well-being of students, and students’ work that does not involve teaching and respects the boundaries and tasks of other already existing student services.
The president of the FPSS-CSQ believes that school renovations could be accelerated if the restriction allocating 96% of the construction and renovation of schools to contractors were lifted, letting in workers already employed by school boards and centers. “Hiring school support staff to renovate schools would reduce costs. There are 81 job classes of support staff, including building technicians, cabinetmakers, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, laborers, painters, pipefitters, glaziers and welders. These people have the expertise to keep our facilities in good condition.”
Budgetary Regulations Not Defined
Beyond the Education Minister’s announcements this morning, Éric Pronovost is not satisfied with the funds that will be injected into the communities to meet these needs. He concludes that “the budgetary regulations are not defined, and they won’t be before April. If the Education Minister wants to achieve his priorities, he needs to increase budgets now, not wait until next year.”