The unions representing education professionals in the region paint a bleak portrait of the educational environment in the four school service centers (SSCs) in our regions.
According to a survey conducted by the Federation of Education Professionals of Quebec (FPPEQ) among members of the school service centers of Phares and Monts-et-Marées, 43% of professionals are considering leaving the school environment for a reason different from retirement, mainly due to lack of recognition.
This survey was conducted in June among 87 professionals who hold positions, among others, such as psychoeducators, psychologists, special education specialists and speech therapists.
I have people who tell me: “I want to leave because I am alone in my school, I want to leave because my service center is impervious to the recommendations and solutions that we want to provide.”explains the president of the Federation of Education Professionals of Bas-Saint-Laurent, Jacques Belles-Isles.
The well-being of children is part of the reason we do this work and currently, what makes the distress so great is that we are not able to fulfill the mandate.
A little further east, the situation seems less alarming in the Kamouraska-Rivière-du-Loup and Fleuve-et-des-Lacs CSSs, where unions recognize improvements in working conditions. However, one in 10 professionals would consider leaving their job among the 30 people who responded to the survey.
Work overload and lack of services for students
The survey also reveals that 7 out of 10 education professionals in Bas-Saint-Laurent consider themselves overworked, mainly because they have too many mandates to fulfill and too many students or colleagues to support.
There are still a dozen vacant positions in the CSS of Phares and Monts-et-Marées and four in the CSS of Kamouraska–Rivière-du-Loup and Fleuve-et-des-Lacs.
The unions also regret the increase in the number of students with major learning difficulties, with special needs or affected by a school intervention plan.
All of this requires people to support. We have teachers who are suffering and have an increasing workload on their shoulders. says the president of the SPGP-CSQ, Johanne Gingras.
At the provincial level, negotiations are underway to renew the collective agreement. Remuneration, work organization or the establishment of a minimum threshold of services are among the demands to improve working conditions.