in Toulouse, tired of child welfare staff

In Toulouse, about thirty child welfare professionals on Wednesday, March 23, condemned to the ward council the deterioration of their working conditions.

Their faces are hidden behind white masks. Frozen, without expression, for “represents suffering and anonymity” child welfare staff in Haute-Garonne.

This Wednesday, March 23, about thirty employees of community solidarity houses posed in front of the Toulouse branch council to condemn what they call a “social crime”. Everyone has asked to exercise their right of withdrawal.

Sophie has been an educator for seven years in the department. “The situation is catastrophic”, she tells us. Understaffed, recruitment problem, exhaustion and burnout … Of the 30 solidarity houses in the Haute-Garonne, staff from 24 of them reported a lack of team leadership that day.

“The positions are still vacant” explains Sophia. Unreplaced pensions, as well as certain maternity leave … In these structures, the paint cracks gently. “There is a recruitment problem, so children are not protected.” According to several contacted social workers, the most stressed institutions sometimes have two referees in the ASE (Childhood social assistance) service instead of the seven to eight needed.

One of the points crystallization of their tired: the number of cases followed by the rapporteur of the ASE, always more important. “We try to compensate for people who have not been replaced and we sometimes end up with 35 different files on our hands”sorry Sophie.

During a meeting arranged with staff representatives at the beginning of the week, the department council undertook to limit the number of cases dealt with by a single rapporteur to 25. A promise already made in 2019, but which has never been possible to implement.

“We face a lot of absenteeism, many strikes” recognizes a source close to the matter in the Branch Council who admits the difficulty and difficulty of the missions performed by ASE staff. At the conclusion of two meetings held with staff representatives on Tuesday, March 22, Bertrand Looses, Director General of Services, promised to hire 10 flying staff to remedy the shortcomings in the areas and prioritize vacant replacement positions.

Sufficient points to refuse to grant the right of withdrawal requested by the staff of the solidarity houses, the day of the mobilization. “Management has committed itself to responding to their inquiry, so we assess that the right of withdrawal is not relevant”, says our source in the department council. But it is precisely society’s inability to manage to recruit that contributed to the aggravation of the situation, according to ASE workers.

“We are facing a major recruitment problem because the missions are difficult and we are very poorly paid”, explains Stéphane Borras, social worker and representative of the trade union SUD. At the beginning of their careers, educators and social workers earn less than € 1,800 net salary per month, including bonuses.

“Young colleagues sometimes resign very quickly because they can not stand the situation”, emphasizes Stéphane Borras. Due to lack of resources and staff, “we do follow-ups that are sometimes more offensive than what the families themselves inflict on the children”the social worker is moved.

While staff are demanding a net increase of € 100 in their monthly bonus to upgrade their careers, some are already worried about the future increase in the workload.

Since January 1, 2022, agents for the territorial function must theoretically be increased to 1,607 annual working hours, putting an end to the derogatory regimes. “Currently we are at 1,485 hours”, reveals the union representative. With this new law, child welfare staff must spend more than 120 overtime hours – equivalent to 10 days off – for the same salary.

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