Covid-19: in Seine-Saint-Denis, the fed up with maintenance workers in middle and high schools

It is an essential profession for the proper functioning of schools that the health crisis has brought to the fore. The territorial technical agents of the educational establishments (ATTEE) are the personnel who maintain the middle and high schools on a daily basis. Since the establishment of a health protocol in National Education, their workload has increased significantly, especially after the reinforcement of hygiene measures at the start of the All Saints holidays.

Because failing to impose a social distancing between the students, the ministry preferred to reinforce the cleaning instructions in the establishments of the materials “most frequently” affected, which must now be disinfected several times a day. “In National Education, our jobs are at the end of the chain, but faced with the virus, we are on the front line”, blow Aïda, Isabelle and Maïmouna, three ATTEE officiating at the Pierre-de-Geyter college in Saint-Denis, where they take care of the canteen or the maintenance of the establishment.

Aïda caught the virus “without a doubt at school”, estimates this fifty-year-old employee in this college for nearly 15 years. Last Tuesday, these salaried agents of the departmental council of Seine-Saint-Denis took part in a strike movement at the call of an inter-union inter-union organized to demand more resources for education in the youngest and most poor in mainland France.

Every morning, Isabelle arrives at college at 7 am to wash 12 classrooms. “Everything has to be finished for the start of classes at 8:30 am. Suddenly, it’s the race! It was already complicated at the base, but now we have to clean the bars of the chairs, the handles, knowing that the disinfectant is supposed to be placed for 20 minutes to be effective … We have the impression that at the ministry, nobody ‘thought of us while writing this protocol. “

“You can’t do everything right. We only have two hands and two legs. “

The three colleagues are fatalistic. “You can’t do everything right. We only have two hands and two legs… The worst thing in history is that the establishment has a canteen with 150 places for 300 students. However, we do not have time to clean the chairs in the canteen between departments. Suddenly, we have a little the impression of doing all this work in the classes for nothing, since the pupils can pass the virus on between noon and two, ”regret those who campaign for the recruitment of additional staff.

“There are a lot of people who come in to do replacements, but they are not trained and they never stay long. We need more positions. In the department, there are more or less well endowed colleges, but in Pierre-Geyter, there are only 4 maintenance officers. It would take double to comply with the protocol, ”they say.

“We cannot establish a tenure overnight, there are competitions to pass, it takes time,” recalls the departmental council of Seine-Saint-Denis, which establishes “between 30 and 50” agents per year. The local authority – which employs 1,300 full-time, contractual or insertion agents in its 130 colleges – claims to have strengthened its teams to face the health crisis. “We recruited 80 more people between September and October and launched the recruitment of 100 additional agents since the reinforcement of the protocol at the beginning of November”, she explains.

For its part, the Region which manages high schools, also explains having hired 240 more statutory agents since the start of the September school year. In addition, an emergency human resources fund made it possible to recruit 500 additional temporary staff to compensate for absences. In mid-October, the left-wing opposition group Ensemble, Ile-de-France, for its part demanded the hiring of 900 tenured agents, deploring the “flawed use of temporary employment agencies”.

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