BACK-TO-SCHOOL: STILL NO “COVID BONUS” FOR SCHOOL SUPPORT STAFF

Courtesy Translation

This is a courtesy translation provided by the APPA, to read the original article from the FEESP-CSN click here.

After the press conference by Jean-François Roberge, Minister of Education, regarding the scheduled return to class on January 17, the School Sector of the Federation of Public Service Employees (FEESP-CSN) welcomes the distribution of 3.6 million new rapid tests to schools but denounces the lack of COVID premiums for support staff working on the frontline for almost two years. The sector is also calling for better protection measures for support staff, including N95 masks, as well as adequate ventilation in the workplace.

Since the start of the pandemic, the government has rightly offered wage premiums to healthcare workers who face the challenges of this global health crisis on a daily basis. However, support staff in schools and specialized schools (daycare employees, TES, attendants, supervisors, janitors, etc.) have so far not been entitled to any COVID premium. while they have been at the front every day for almost two years. This is frankly unfair! They deserve recognition now.” says Annie Charland, president of the FEESP-CSN School Sector.

A SERIOUS BOOST TO VENTILATION

In addition to the bonus, the sector demands to raise the level of ventilation in schools: “Since the spring of 2021, Minister Roberge continues to repeat that ventilation remains a priority for his Ministry. However, here we are in January 2022 and nothing seems to have changed concretely on the ground,” adds Ms. Charland. “Delivering CO2 detectors to schools is all well and good, but the real problem often lies with outdated or non-existent ventilation systems that are not sufficient to clean the air properly. In addition, it is difficult to understand why the installation of air exchangers in all schools is not already systematic.

MORE PROTECTIVE GEAR

In addition to this demand, the sector is calling for additional personal protective equipment measures to protect support staff. “Faced with the contagiousness of the Omicron variant, our members are worried and demand to be more adequately protected, which would be possible by wearing the N95 mask,” adds Ms. Charland.

Finally, the FEESP denounces major shortcomings in the transmission of ministerial instructions. “The Ministry may increase communiqués and internal memos intended for schools, but the information does not always reach the schools, which creates a lot of confusion in the field,” says Linda Tavolaro, Secretary-General of the FEESP-CSN.

This is a courtesy translation provided by the APPA, to read the original article from the FEESP-CSN click here.

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