“Here, no salary increases, but staff reductions. The banner at the entrance to the specialized reception center (MAS) of Thorigné-Fouillard, on the outskirts of Rennes (Ille-et-Vilaine), immediately plunges into the bath of anger. The pavilions accommodating 160 patients suffering from serious psychiatric pathologies and polyhandicap until now blended in the green landscape. But this haven of care, close to an equestrian center, has been shaken for several weeks by a fight following the publication of a decree on September 19. This expressly excludes personnel in the medico-social sphere from the supplementary salary index of 183 euros per month decided during the Ségur de la santé. A shock for the 330 nursing assistants, medico-psychological assistants or nurses attached to this sector within the Guillaume-Régnier hospital center (of which the MAS is part – Editor’s note).
Since the end of September, the protest has been mounting
“Everyone who wears this blouse is suffering!” Françoise explodes, pulling on her immaculate garment. I am a widow with two children, I earn 1,600 euros net, so yes, I would have needed this revaluation! I deserve to have this sum like any health care aide. All this disturbs me. Sometimes I no longer have the courage to come. I do it for the residents. But, even if the executives cry because someone is missing, I will no longer go to work with my son who has a fever of 40, that’s it! “
Since the end of September, the protest has been mounting in the structure. The night shifts, ultra-immobilized, were joined by a majority of day shifts. A caregiver thus permanently keeps this claiming mantra stuck on her white coat: “Undersourced + sub-patients + sub-carers = – 183 euros.” On November 10, Ludovic, a day care aide and a striker, receives his assignment to his post in person from a manager. He slips it into his pocket under the watchful eye of a young patient who encourages him to come back and take care of him. “There is an inadmissible distinction made between the agents,” he laments. The worker who is assigned here but on call at the hospital center will not be entitled to this increase either! But tomorrow, if I return to the Guillaume-Régnier site, I will be able to touch it! What does this mean to the families of people with disabilities? That medico-social caregivers are less efficient, less qualified? Like many colleagues, he wrote to management to change positions.
“Who will want to work for 200 euros less? “
This wage stigma is superimposed on years of understaffing in this sector, the poor relation of health. Cécile, a nurse also struggling, ended up practicing, like everyone else on the spot, almost all trades. “I did the toilet before my treatment this morning, because a nursing assistant was absent. Before, there were five nurses for a house, we are now only four for two houses, that’s good speed. I don’t see how my job is less arduous than that of a nurse in the hospital. We are also on the front line, three of us have had the coronavirus. Ségur should encourage young people to come, the opposite is going to happen. It was already difficult to recruit, but who will want to work for 200 euros less? “
In the Camélias pavilion where the heaviest patients live, since the first confinement, the arms are also missing in the afternoon. Sky blue Chaussée de Crocs, Noémie, caregiver, details with a net of voice the repercussions on residents. “We start eating earlier, around 5:30 pm We have aging people who need time to eat. It becomes complicated to do activities, to look for clothes… As we take care of humans, we cannot give up. “Fanny Beloeil-Henry, elected CGT at the CHSCT and medico-psychological aid, can only note a deterioration in the condition of caregivers. “There have never been so many serious and imminent dangers (DGI) triggered since this summer. This exclusion from Ségur was the blow of the bamboo. We have rising absenteeism rates, with 20 sick leaves per day. “
“We no longer have a nurse at night since January”
In the specialized reception center (MAS) of Betton, a stone’s throw from Thorigné-Fouillard, staff watch over 60 residents. When she learned of their lack of upgrading, Stephanie, twenty years of seniority, at first thought it was a joke. “In fact, it’s humiliation,” she sums up during her break in the parking lot with a handful of colleagues. “Before, the objective was to make patients more alive, to support them in their well-being; now, there are so few of us that it is guarding, a bit like in nursing homes. We haven’t had a nurse at night since January. “
During the first wave, agents dealt with the impact of the pandemic on these at-risk people on short notice. “There was no protocol. When one of them was suspected of being infected and put in isolation for two weeks, we had to improvise. It was the godmother of my son who works in the Covid unit who explained to me how to proceed… ”she recalls. If, among the 40,000 injured medico-social workers in the country, some have demonstrated and won their case with their management, the Guillaume-Régnier center refuses for the moment to make the payment of this additional salary.
Management claims to “understand” but does nothing
On November 10 again, around a hundred caregivers, taken by the CGT and SUD, therefore crossed the main courtyard of the hospital overhung by a dome to call their director, Bernard Garin. Coming out of the room where a technical establishment committee was taking place, he listened to the demands of Rodolphe Verger, secretary general of the CGT: “We ask you to do the same thing as your counterparts. The more directors agree, the more chances we have of having this decree amended. As you can see, the staff do not give up! “
Embarrassed, Bernard Garin “sincerely understands the anger”. He considers this situation as “aberrant” but, for all that, the administrator “refuses to stand in the way” by ignoring the decree. If Goulven Boulliou, secretary general of SUD, recognizes that the latter is in an “uncomfortable situation”, he wonders: “But if employees wanted to take this to court for discrimination, he could perhaps be designated responsible? In any case, the mobilization continues. “