MONTREAL, Sept. 27, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ - This Thursday, September 27, is National Support Staff Day in the education sector. The Federation of Public Service Employees (FEESP-CSN) wishes to acknowledge the exceptional work done every day by these tens of thousands of women and men, as well as their contribution to the academic success of children and young adults through the province.
National Support Staff Day was established to recognize the contribution of these employees who work behind the scenes, whose work is essential to the success of our educational institutions, whether in our elementary schools, high schools, CEGEPs, or universities.
"All personnel other than teaching staff and professional staff—including Secretaries, Custodial Staff, Computer Operators, Office Assistants, Special Education Technicians, Skilled Workers, Child Care Staff, Documentation Technicians, Practical Work Technicians, Recreational Activities Technicians, and many others—perform exceptional work, often at arm's length from the education system and without the recognition associated with it. On the last Thursday of every September, we at FEESP turn a spotlight onto these employees and their work, but their dedication needs to be recognized on a daily basis," says Stéphanie Gratton, FEESP Vice-President.
Present Everywhere for Everyone
Education support employees are to be found at every point in a student's academic journey. From administration, building maintenance, and school organization to support for students in difficulty, daycare services, and laboratory preparation, they perform a constellation of jobs that are essential to the well-being of Quebec's educational system.
"The funding cuts experienced in recent years have brought layoffs and yielded a negative impact upon the services provided by support staff. Greater investment in education is needed to ensure that support staff have the resources they need to provide services across the educational system. It's time we recognized the real value of the contribution made by support staff," adds Johanne Cadieux, FEESP-CSN CEGEP Support Sector Chair.
Budget Cuts and Job Insecurity
In spite of how essential their work is, the women and men who work as support staff contend with the effects of budget cuts on a daily basis.
"The commitment of support staff to the operation of our schools is phenomenal, even despite the budget cuts. The government has reinjected some monies for school board funding, but this remains far from the budget levels that prevailed before the austerity period cuts. These cuts have created job insecurity, which has become unsustainable," says Annie Charland, FEESP-CSN School Sector Chair.
This job insecurity has spread to CEGEPs and universities. We need a massive reinvestment in education—first and foremost to provide better services to students, but also to solve this overall problem.
At Concordia University, the situation is scarcely better. Workers are currently in negotiations with the employer. Outsourcing and job insecurity are key topics in these discussions.
"Our members need to be able to contribute more to their pension plans, but their salaries have not increased. Support staff are constantly being asked to put in greater effort, but our members can only be squeezed so far," says Kent Cluff, President of the Concordia University Library Employees' Union (CULEU), FEESP-CSN.
FEESP wishes an excellent National Support Staff Day to all support staff throughout the Education Sector. Your work is essential and appreciated!
SOURCE Fédération des employées et employés de services publics (FEESP-CSN)
For further information: François L'Écuyer, communication advisor, CSN, Cell phone : 514 949-8973; Dave Parent, communication advisor, CSN, Cell phone : 514 966-2827