You are 10,000 professionals, members of the FPPE, who, through many small and large gestures, reach out every day to students, teachers, and principals in elementary, secondary, adult education, and vocational training schools, and to the administrative departments of service centres and school boards.
This slogan is dedicated to showcasing the work of all our 35 job classes. It is all the more significant given that professional services in education suffer from a lack of recognition. Our attraction and retention problems are well documented and deserve more consideration and attention. In my opinion however, they are a beacon of light in Quebec public services. Despite the fact that they have been undermined in recent decades, we must preserve them at all costs.
The pandemic has also highlighted many shortfalls in our public services (education, health, and early childhood), all of which are in urgent need of upgrading. Regarding the school environment in particular, there were still over 500 positions vacant recently—for professional staff alone. Our schools and other buildings are in need of major work, students have experienced difficult situations, and many are experiencing anxiety and suffering, the pedagogical challenges are immense and are exacerbated by the high number of unqualified teachers.
The shortage of personnel is significant, the conditions of practice for our professions have never been more relevant and demanding, all of which are facing never before seen challenges. The government will have no choice but to invest in our working conditions.
Over the course of this Professionals’ Week, it is therefore essential to highlight your exceptional contributions and your commitment to success according to your expertise. Whether your job is administrative, pedagogical, or support-based, you all have the success of the students at heart. This is the essence of our commitment to education… and to public services.
Despite this never-ending pandemic, you have kept your priorities straight.
Among our 19 union affiliates from all areas of the French school service centres and the English, Cree and Kativik school boards, there are more than 20,000 hands reaching out.
That makes us very proud and ready to fight for our future!