Montréal, April 29, 2021 – Similar to what is happening elsewhere in Quebec, the working conditions of education professionals in greater Montréal schools are so difficult that many are seriously considering quitting their jobs to pursue careers in the private sector or reorient themselves in another field.
This is one of the key findings from a survey conducted by the Fédération des professionnelles et professionnels de l’éducation du Québec (FPPE-CSQ), the Syndicat des professionnelles et professionnels du milieu de l’éducation de Montréal (le SPPMEM-CSQ), the Syndicat des professionnelles et professionnels de l’Ouest de Montréal (SPPOM) and the Syndicat des professionnelles et professionnels de l’Ouest de Québec anglophone (SPPOQA-CSQ) among their members.
The results of this survey of education professionals in the greater Montréal area were revealed at a press conference today.
“Working conditions in Montréal are as unappealing as they are in any other Quebec region. It is unfortunate, but when it comes to an excessive workload, lack of resources and failure to meet students’ needs, the same dismal portrait is present in all school service centres and school boards,” said Jacques Landry.
The survey conducted by the FPPE-CSQ—that received more than 3 000 responses—indicates that a high percentage of professionals are considering quitting their jobs; this percentage varies between 23.5% and 51.2% depending on the job category. The reasons given, by order of importance, are heavy workload (63%), lack of recognition (49%) and salary (41%).
A worrisome situation in Montréal
Among the SPPMEM-CSQ members, 33% of professionals are thinking of leaving, notably because of the unsatisfactory salary (55%), the heavy workload (50%) and the lack of recognition (51%).
Of those surveyed, 74% stated that only students in urgent need receive services, and approximately 70% say they cannot do follow-ups or preventive interventions.
As for the professionals employed by the English Montreal School Board, members of the SPPMEM-CSQ, 16% state that they are considering leaving their jobs given the excessive workload (76%), unsatisfactory salary (65%) or lack of recognition (53%). All those surveyed say they can only respond to student needs considered urgent, while 50% report a lack of resources in their job category and 75% consider that they are assigned too many schools.
The situation in the West Island and Vaudreuil-Soulanges
As far as the SPPOM is concerned, this survey is likewise revealing. In fact, 26% of respondents consider quitting their current job because of the heavy workload (67%), unsatisfactory salary (49%) or lack of recognition (42%). The situation is similar as elsewhere, with 83% of those surveyed advising that only students with urgent cases, or those who disturb the classroom, receive help (47% of respondents). In addition, 63% of the professional staff surveyed stated they cannot do follow-ups and 59% stated that they were unable to carry out preventive interventions. More than half of respondents observe a lack of resources.
Similar findings in the English school boards
Finally, at the SPPOQA-CSQ that represents professionals from English-speaking school boards, the situation is not any better. In fact, 18% of respondents are thinking of quitting their jobs because of lack of recognition (38%), heavy workload (57%) and salary (39%). In addition, 78% of those surveyed say they can only respond to student needs deemed urgent, while 41% condemn a lack of resources in their job category and 41% say that they are assigned too many schools.
“The main victims of these professional resource shortages are the hundreds of students who need help, but who never get any. It is very sad; the present government, and the one before it, bear a great deal of responsibility for this failure.” – Rémi Gaulin, president of the SPPMEM-CSQ
“Intervention requests for students with needs greatly exceed the available resources. Therefore, we are forced to prioritize our interventions—dealing with the most urgent cases. Meanwhile, unfortunately, the other cases escalate to the point of jeopardizing students’ academic success.” – Carolane Desmarais, president of the SPPOM
“Students have multiple needs and, due to a lack of budget and staff, services cannot always be delivered. Consequently, we are forced to scatter our services, deal only with emergencies, and relinquish any preventive interventions.” – Dominic Di Stefano, president SPPOQA-CSQ
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About the FPPE-CSQ
The Fédération des professionnelles et professionnels de l’éducation du Québec (FPPE-CSQ) represents 19 unions bringing together 10 000 members from nearly all of Quebec’s French- and English-speaking school service centres, as well as Cree and Kativik school boards. It has among its members different categories of staff in the administrative and educational sectors, and direct services to students (among others, psychologists, psychoeducators, speech therapists, guidance counsellors, remedial teachers, etc.)
Cell: 514 237-4432