Strike of professionals in French care homes: fighting for better working conditions for dignified care
Over January 2018 several strikes took place in care homes in France. On 30 January, care professionals at the EHPAD (établissements d’hébergement pour personnes âgées dépendantes), the most frequent type of care home in France, went on strike following the call of seven trade unions and with the support of the Association of directors at the service of older people (AD-PA). The extent of the strike and the fact that it gained support from both trade unions and managers of care homes is a historic development in France that shows the gravity of the situation.
Demonstrating behind a banner with the message “For the dignity and the respect of our older people and of professionals we demand more resources”, care home professionals and managers reported that current financial constraints and insufficient staffing make the situation “scandalous and catastrophic”. As expressed by a trade union representative, “we are witnessing today the maltreatment of older people and of staff”. Professionals report insufficient time to perform their tasks and unbearable work overload.
Pascal Champvert, president of AD-PA and representative of the European Association for Directors and Providers of Long-Term Care Services for the Elderly (EDE) at AGE’s Council of Administration, gave an interview to Le Monde. He declared that “for staff, it is not possible anymore to continue working under such conditions of chronic under-staffing, with never enough time to spend on older people and impossible time and financial constraints”. He denounced that French authorities are not yet fully aware of the extent of the problems and called on developing a global policy response in favour of older people.
Nicole Legrain, from AGE France, published also a comment about the situation, which you can read here.
In order to explore the links between working conditions and quality of care services, AGE will organise, 5 June 2018, for the first time and together with UNI Europa trade union, a conference on this issue to mark the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
For any questions or remarks, do not hesitate to contact Borja Arrue, AGE’s Project and Policy Officer responsible for long-term care and elder abuse, firstname.lastname@example.org