“We love this job, we want to defend it”

What are the employees demanding?

“The diaper is full”, they write on their banners. Monday morning, around thirty women, professionals in early childhood, were gathered in front of the Les Petits de la colline crèche, located on rue Saint-Hubert in Thionville. The strike movement is national.

These employees of the Red Cross wanted to express their distress. They work in the association’s five establishments in northern Moselle at Manom, Yutz, Fontoy, Trémery and Thionville. However, they speak with one voice. “Diplomas are not recognized, seniority either,” they accuse, comparing their gross salaries. They barely touch the Smic. But salary recognition is not the only demand. “There are too many children and not enough staff,” say the strikers. “It happened that we were two for twenty-one children”, maintains the group. Well below the legal framework imposed for this type of structure.

“Professionals are overwhelmed, overworked. But we are paid for training to be benevolent, ”the girls ironically. “Sick leave is not immediately replaced. And yet children need the same attention. They also describe poorly adapted premises. “The little ones are on top of each other”, lament some employees who do not work in Thionville. “The material is missing. Everything is limited,” they add.

Inflation and the difficulty of making ends meet have fueled their anger and motivated their movement. The tragedy that occurred in a crèche in Lyon last week adds to their discomfort. “We don’t want to be put in the same bag,” they warn. Because they also demonstrate in the name of the little ones they watch over. “If we’re still here, it’s because we love this job, we want to defend it to the end! “, hammer the strikers.

How does management respond?

Red Cross crèches were closed on Monday. Members of the regional management were present in the Thionvilloise structure. They recognize difficulties in recruiting. “But nurseries only open if the right reception conditions are met,” maintains Sandra Corvacho, director of the early childhood center at the Grand Est Red Cross. It ensures that Maternal and Child Protection, which issues opening permits, can ensure this by consulting the registers kept every day within the structures.

And the salaries? Management maintains that they are regularly re-evaluated, even if only slightly. “The annual negotiations with the unions resulted in the granting of a bonus, between 700 and 900 euros gross, on conditions of seniority, to employees present on February 1, 2022 and still in post on June 1”, underlines Sandra Corvacho. , Grand Est Director. “These bonuses were paid out of the association’s own funds,” insists Natacha Garcia, regional human resources manager. She recalls that the operating budget, and therefore indirectly the salaries, is managed by the communities. “The Red Cross intervenes on public service delegation”, she explains.

According to regional management, the only leeway would be based on the national negotiations scheduled for this year in the field of early childhood. “The Red Cross and the other partners will meet with the State and will be able to support these upgrading needs,” announces Sandra Corvacho.

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