[France] In health services as everywhere: work and die

December 2020, CNT-AIT France,

We are very unfair with this government! We all believe his catastrophic handling of the COVID crisis is due to his inability to anticipate and prepare. This is completely wrong and the government shows us every day that it is quite capable of planning and organizing itself, when it wants to do so.

Already in March 2020, we did not have a stock of masks because the government had not ordered them. On the other hand, he did not forget in November 2019 and then again in April 2020 to order several million euros of tear gas, rubber bullets and other police drones. This government has a sense of priorities and urgencies!

In health services it is the same. As the second wave is here, hospital beds are full but the iceberg of all the other « postponed » conditions reappears, what do you think the government is doing? Let’s not talk about this agreement of shame, the infamous Segur agreement… It is an agreement of treason, signed by the reformist unions and against which the so-called protest unions have not organized any serious resistance (did they call for workers’ General assemblies in your unit?) when public opinion was very favourable to us. The 183 euros will not even cover the inflation of the last ten years with a blocked salary index point!

While we are exhausted, that many colleagues are in “burn out”, that in certain departments colleagues have been contaminated by Covid for lack of means of protection, what is the government doing? Is he hiring more staff? Does he provide additional resources? But no, no, his eminence Macron told us on October 6, in response to an angry group of health workers: « It is not a question of means, but of organization« 

And in terms of organization, the government is preparing for the future: it is giving the green light to privatization. Oh, he does it quietly, not openly, but step by step. It started with Decree 2019-1593 of December 31, 2019 (adopted in the middle of the end of the year holiday season, to go unnoticed) which introduces the provision for conventional break in the public service. In other words, which allows civil servants to be dismissed without telling it … And then this September 3, a new decree, number 2020-1106, relating to support measures in the event of job cuts in the public hospital civil service. Of course, this decree does not talk about dismissal, it just explains what will happen when public hospitals are closed. Of course, this text says that a civil servant will stay in public service, even if his structure of assignment is closed. But the text provides that the State is not obliged to find a new assignment for him … However, if State closes structures, it is not to reopen others, nor to inflate the staff of those already existing, on the contrary it is time to « degrease the mammoth » … If the public worker is unassigned, he has no duty to perform and so he will no longer receive any bonus related to the performance of his duties! In other words his income will be greatly reduced, so that if the worker has a family, loan to reimburse, student children to financially support, he will no longer earn enough to meet his needs … The worker will then be pushed to negotiate his departure from the public service with the illusion that by setting up a liberal activity or joining private structures, he will be able to find a better alternative.

We understand, this text is nothing less than a text of formalized institutional harassment, to push health workers towards the exit… The State will play poker face, saying it does not privatize and that it is the civil servants who go to the private sector « at their request », but will the workers have a choice? And for the bosses of private structures it will be without any risk: article 16 allows a probationary period for the employee who can go for a full year in a private structure, on lay-off. So if « the graft » does not take, the boss can separate from his employee without risk and take another one that would fit better. Who said that the state does not think of everything and does not prepare anything?

Here again, we do not hear the unions on this real plan of privatization and institutional harassment … So we too must be prepared to retaliate, so as not to let it happen. The Covid crisis has shown that health is a public good, and that strictly accountable management produces health catastrophe and injustice. And the future « organization », privatized, will not help! It is up to us to mobilize, health workers and patients together, to demand more beds in our hospitals, massive hiring of dignified salaries.

More beds, more staff, a decent salary,

Withdrawal of the Ségur treason agreement,

For a universal, socialized, united health system!  Long live the social Revolution!

Workers in the health sector of the CNT-AIT (Anarchosyndicalist) Cochin-Broca –Hôtel-Dieu Hospital, December 2020 contact@cnt-ait.info http://cnt-ait.info

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