Jean-Noël Escudié / P2C for Localtis
On the eve of the “Conference on Trade and Social and Medico-Social Support”, which is due to open on the morning of Friday 18 February, the Assembly of French Departments (ADF) organized a conference on 16 February to sound the alarm. and outline its expectations for this event. In addition to François Sauvadet, President of the ADF and President of the Côte-d’Or Council of Ministers, the three representatives of the Chambers in particular attended the Conference on Social Professions: Frédéric Bierry, President of the Solidarity, Health and Labor Commission of the ADF (and President of the Council of Ministers in Alsace), Stéphane Troussel, Vice-Chairman of the Solidarity, Health and Labor Commission (and Chairman of the Seine-Saint-Denis Branch Council) and Stéphane Haussoulier, Chairman of the Group’s Disability and Autonomy Working Group of the ADF (and Chairman of the Somme Branch Council).
Responding to “a deep sense of injustice”
For François Sauvadet, it is a matter of “sounding the alarm against a breathless model”. The chairman of the ADF drew a very gloomy picture of the situation: “We can no longer fill the posts and the social workers are exhausted.” He also insisted on the loss of attractiveness to the social and medico-social professions. Referring to his Côte-d’Or department, François Sauvadet stated that he identified 400 vacancies out of 10,000. This is an unemployment rate of 4%, roughly comparable to the percentage shown nationally in the recent Fehap and Nexem survey among a panel of 90,000 employees in private non-profit enterprises and services (see our article of 20. January 2022).
But for the ADF, it is above all a matter of responding to “a deep sense of injustice”. Injustice towards the employees in the sector who have had a bad experience or are living badly for being “the forgotten one of Ségur” in light of the revaluations given to the health sector from 2020 (and even though the gap is largely in the process of catch up). Injustice also to the departments, which were not connected with Ségur’s decisions, nor with the so-called Laforcade agreements (from the name of the dealer) or with their implementation. For François Sauvadet, today we must “put an end to injustice to all social and medico-social staff”. The ADF therefore demands that “the whole medico-social sector benefits from the same economic measures and the same recognition of the ‘life professions’ as those given to the nursing staff”.
The “102 different policies on the territory” are going wrong
The president of the ADF also did not have much taste for the head of state’s allusions to the 102 different social policies according to the departments, especially heard during the mayors’ congress last November: I solemnly ask him to support the departments so that there are no 102 pay policies.The real injustice is not that there are policies that differ from one department to another.The only injustice is that the State does not give us the funds to to implement the policies that it often decides on its own, within areas of competence that are ours. “
A general tone confirmed by Stéphane Troussel, who in the current situation sees “an absolute necessity” and believes that “the question of the continuity of social action arises”. For the PS President of the Seine-Saint-Denis branch council, there is also the risk of a vicious circle, which will lead to a decline in the quality of the service provided again exacerbating the recruitment crisis.
Frédéric Bierry, for his part, believes that the issue of medical deserts can soon be added to the issue of social deserts, while demand is rising sharply and will continue to grow in the coming years. The origin of this situation is that “the State wants to be the steward of solidarity when it should be the guarantor”. Faced with allegations of disagreements in social policies between departments, the chairman of the Alsace Chamber of Deputies says he is ready to be “proactive” and recommends better sharing of good practice to move towards a gradual harmonization of policies. .
Finally, Stéphane Haussoulier reminded that the debate should not be limited to the issue of pay, but should also include consideration for these staff and their working conditions. However, the chairman of the Somme branch council says he is aware that “we are not going to solve the problem in one morning”.
For long-term consultation
Thus, if the warning is launched with a loud voice on the eve of the conference for social and medico-social professions, the expectations and positioning of the departments – directly affected by the wage increases – in turn remain more vague. The ADF firmly affirms that “the central issue is cost. The state must be there, the state must assume!”. But the association does not seem to reach the negotiating table with precise demands and figures and is content to recall the 102 proposals “To act better in the service of the French”, which were adopted during the National Assizes of the branches in Bourg-en-Bresse last December year. Thus, on the eve of the conference, the cost of the proposed measures – excluding already granted or ongoing upgrades – would be “in the order of 4 to 10 million per department”, according to François Sauvadet, which is still quite vague.
It is true that the ADF does not yet know the exact course of the conference on 18 February, but Frédéric Bierry has recently been in contact with Jean-Philippe Vinquant (former Director General of Social Cohesion until 2019) and Benjamin Ferras (former Deputy Chief of Staff). at Marisol Touraine in 2016 and 2017), the two Inspectors General of Social Affairs (Igas) responsible for preparing the conference. The ADF therefore appears to be waiting for the government to show its cards before responding. However, with a conviction shared by all speakers at the press conference: it will not be necessary to settle for “simple announcements”, but to place the approach within the framework of a real consultation recorded in the longer term.