Despite the abandonment announced by Jean Castex of the “great age” law, the home help sector can rejoice: published last week, a decree indeed provides public funding for the sector’s wage increases validated in April last by the government. At stake: revaluations of 13% to 15% for employees.
“This will inevitably have an impact on the attractiveness of our professions”, rejoices Marie-Reine Tillon, president of the UNA, the main association in the sector, which is holding its general meeting on Tuesday, September 14, stressing how the difficulties in hiring have worsened with the health crisis. “There have been a lot of departures, and few CVs arrive, she explains. It is not uncommon that, after a hire, we receive text messages where candidates give up. “
“The salary increases planned by the Ségur de la santé last year led to a call for assistance at home to nursing homes”, notes Nathalie Canieux, rapporteur in 2020 of an opinion of the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (Cese) on home work professions. “It is not surprising that many young people prefer to go as a team in an establishment rather than being alone at the home of an Alzheimer’s patient or a schizophrenic who can turn out to be violent”, notes the former secretary general of the CFDT health and social federation.
For Marie-Reine Tillon, the salary increases implemented from the 1er October are only” a brick “ the vast project of upgrading home help. “We have to be inventive in terms of working time or managerial innovation, but that means putting resources into our services”, she emphasizes, very attentive to the way in which the departments will participate financially in the development.
Because, unlike the commercial sector of personal services, home help, mainly associative, depends largely on the departments which finance it, in particular via the personalized assistance of autonomy (APA).
“This funding by APA has done a lot to destroy the meaning of work in the sector, warns Nathalie Canieux. When the departments impose a division of the activity to the quarter of an hour, this has terrible consequences on the working conditions of the employees. “ And therefore on the dependent people with whom they work.
Hence the insistence of the Cese on the need to switch to fixed-price financing on the basis of a “Contract of objectives and means”. “But this also assumes that the State provides the departments with funding over several years: currently, it acts as if their population is not aging from one year to the next”, underlines Nathalie Canieux.
In this context, the abandonment of the old age law does not appear as a good signal to associations. “They continue to see us as a cost and not as an investment of social utility”, regrets Marie-Reine Tillon. “However, the 7,800 employees of our federation are so many local jobs”, she adds, recalling that “When you stay at home, you are independent for longer”. “France has also just been criticized by the UN for its vision too focused on reception in institutions”, she explains.
The autonomy of their elders is also a concern of the French: last May, an Odoxa survey for Adédom, another associative home help network, nevertheless stressed that the care of dependency would be decisive for 74% of voters in 2022. “Instead, we are brought out the old safe moons”, enraged Marie-Reine Tillon.
At Cese, Nathalie Canieux nevertheless relativizes the abandonment of the “great age” law. “Minister Brigitte Bourguignon found herself stuck between the period of the health crisis and the presidential election, which made it difficult to discuss a major law, she explains. But that does not prevent it from moving forward by decree or through the Social Security financing bill. “
She takes as proof the wage increases and their recent funding by the State, but also “A calendar of reforms until 2025” where would be provided for the issue of the package, or the decompartmentalization between home help and nursing services or even city medicine. So many points which, for her, should make it possible to relieve home help to make her jobs more attractive.