(29 January 2018) On January 30, 2018, the CGT, CFDT, FO, SUD, UNSA, CFTC and CFE-CGC unions call on the employees of the Housing Facilities for the Dependent Elderly (EHPAD), and of home care, to strike and protest. This movement is supported by the Home and Home Care Association (AD-PA) and nine confederate associations and unions of organising retired people. The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) also supports this mobilization.
Trade unions denounce the lack of staff, resources and massive job cuts which will further degrade care of residents. These problems are not new. The "Great Age Solidarity Plan" drawn up in 2006 and never put into effect, stated that by 2012 at the latest, staffing levels should be increased by setting up an "agent for a resident" ratio.
As scientific studies, the surveys of our unions and their members, i.e. in Germany, France and the United Kingdom, as well as the experiences of the employees in the health and social services show, the fewer the staff and the less qualified staff are according to the needs of the services, the more the quality of the care provided deteriorates. This has important implications for the safety and quality of patient care.
A recent parliamentary mission established a general diagnosis shared by all the actors and has proposed a number of measures to be taken quickly.
Given the refusal of President Macron to meet the unions and the insufficient proposal by the Minister of Health to create a reflection group on the quality of life at work (QLAW), the trade unions decided to go on strike and demonstrate to make their demands heard.
The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) fully supports these demands and calls for support to these demonstrations and strikes. It is urgent and essential to improve working conditions for staff in nursing homes and home care services and,
• to halt the reductions in capacity by tariff convergence and to maintain all the numbers of EHPADs including the subsidized contracts, which must be integrated and secured
• to improve pay, career prospects and career development, within the framework of the national collective agreements
• to apply staff allocations as provided for by the “Plan Solidarité Grand Age”
Mobilizing for sufficient staff and for improving working conditions and workplace safety remains a priority for EPSU and its affiliates. Establishing regulations on staffing requirements and staff quotas is the best way to ensure quality care. “We wish success to tomorrow mobilisation and also for the future ones to achieve their goal, we hope this will bring closer the European trade union movement. Jan Willem Goudriaan, General Secretary of EPSU states and adds "unions are powerful - use our power together!"