“My work? It has been completely emptied of its meaning. I have become a marshalling yard.” No trace of complaint in the voice of Katia*, Pôle emploi placement advisor in the Toulouse region. Just a bitter observation: “Since the merger, we have lost a lot in the quality of work. I came to ANPE ten years ago to do professional orientation. Today I no longer have time to advise job seekers. Against the backdrop of crisis and rising unemployment last year (+18.5% increase in job applicants between November 2009 and December 2010, 2.5 million people registered at Pôle Emploi in January 2010), the merger between ANPE and Assedic falls decidedly badly. with the 48,000 agents of Pôle emploi. But also with job seekers, lost in the new distribution of agencies or struggling to get answers on their file. Despite the adoption of an emergency plan regarding the hiring of 1,850 fixed-term contracts to cope with the influx of registrations (1), some investment advisers (ex-ANPE) are overwhelmed. “The CSDs are very often sent in disaster to the reception of the agencies, after a week of training. Result: they cannot respond to the public’s questions and they must ask with the teams”, disputes Stéphane Guillou , delegate of CGT Pôle emploi. It is not enough to really relieve the counselors. “There have been new hires in our region this year, but these are precarious contracts: in the Chalon-sur-Saône agency, for example, we had two fixed-term contracts of three and four months. This is insufficient to reduce our workload. . The advisers still have on average 200 or 300 people to follow”, says Véronique Délice, union representative SNU-FSU Pôle emploi in Burgundy. Figures that the management does not deny: “Everything depends on the location and the sociology of job seekers. In Île-de-France, we have agencies where counselors follow fifty candidates and another two hundred, as in Seine-Saint “-Denis. But the national average remains a counselor for 95 job candidates,” fears Marc Baillot, director of the office of the regional office of Île-de-France of Pôle emploi. The unions, themselves, rather estimate the “portfolio ” average of one advisor to 150 job seekers to follow as a “referent”. An unsustainable rate.
“The number of diseased leaves is impressive”
Increase in work, multiple dysfunctions due to the creation of 900 mixed sites of Pôle Emploi, loss of bearings: the causes of the problem are many. And the situation is alarming enough for the management of Pôle emploi to open negotiations on psychosocial risks at the beginning of the year, under pressure from the unions, after the suicide attempts that hit the new institution. (Officially, one suicide and five attempts have been registered since the beginning of 2009 at Pôle Emploi in the workplace, according to the report presented by the directorate in October 2009.) Without describing the situation as “explosive”, the The latest December study commissioned by the Isast Institute, specialist in occupational health issues, by the Pôle Emploi directorate clearly indicates the damage of a hasty merger: 71% of agents say that they work in stressful situations, 88% consider themselves poorly prepared for the merger between Assedic. and the ANPE (see also: “the office is the only source of tension at Pôle emploi”). Many sources of stress: “the working conditions are deteriorating. There is an impressive number of sick leaves, part-time work, but also agents who take medication to maintain”, says Françoise Demoy, representative of the trade union of the center of SUD jobs. The climate is certainly not harmful everywhere, but the staff strikes that continue in some sites testify to a persistent evil. In January, it was the case of that of Argenteuil. Six months after the ex-ANPE teams moved to the premises of the Assedic, the advisers’ tools are still not operational: “recently, we still cannot connect to all our work tools, nor access to the filing of our emails. The documentation for job seekers have not followed in the move. How do you manage to work well in these conditions?”, asks Solange *, placement advisor in Argenteuil. In her agency, she also notes “a lot more absenteeism, repeated concessions since the merger.”
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“We no longer distinguish those who have to be accompanied”
Unions are also concerned about a less tangible phenomenon: the threat to professional values. According to this same study, 80% of Pôle Emploi agents say they have to do things that are contrary to their vision of their mission. A malaise that affects in particular the former advisers of the ANPE, who feel mistreated in their profession: “We have been completely deceived. We no longer ask them to support and find solutions adapted to the profile of the job candidate, but to control them,” says Francine. Demons. In question: the famous personalized monthly monitoring (SMP) introduced by the fourth month of unemployment. A method that for some is more “cleanliness” than support for the unemployed. “Since the merger, the management of the agency has clearly told us that we no longer have to answer the questions of job applicants outside of their monthly follow-up. I find this inconsistent: not all unemployed people need a appointment every day. In our department, for example, we have children who register as unemployed only while waiting to find other children to look after. On the other hand, we respond in time to someone who needs to reposition their search for work or thinking about training, which, for me, is a priority”, Solange insisted. And to cite the example of this unemployed security guard who wanted to take training to obtain a qualification in his field. “L ‘training organization called me to ask for a letter of motivation that this gentleman could not do. Fortunately, one of my follow-up appointments was canceled that day. I can receive it in time to help me write.” Same observation for Cécile*, councilor of Pôle emploi in Chalon-sur-Saône. “Before the merger, we were more autonomous: now we no longer have the latitude to manage our portfolio. Follow-up monthly invitation letters are sent directly by team leaders. There is no longer a distinction between job seekers who need support. those who are more autonomous “. Bad times for investment advisers, but also for the unemployed victims of a gloomy economy, who are struggling to find answers to their needs in time. According to the CGT Pôle emploi, among the 1,500 agencies (formerly ANPE and Assedic) that welcome the public in France, a third would no longer receive candidates without a summons. And the trend should accelerate, according to Rubens Bardaji, general secretary of the CGT Pôle emploi. “It is a step in the reorganization of the Pôle emploi network. In 2010, one of the priorities of the directorate was to reduce the number of agencies by reuniting in the same site the teams of the former ANPE and Assedic. In this logic, the advisers. will be asked to focus on follow-up interviews, dematerialized services such as 3949 that deal with actual questions from job seekers.” I’m not sure that from one side or the other, the public and the agents they will find their account…
“What advice would you like to give in a quarter of an hour…”
Faced with the influx of job seekers, the quality of interviews with counselors has deteriorated markedly. “In most agencies, its duration has dropped to a quarter of an hour, compared to half an hour before. What do you mean in a short time? In addition to a quick update on job searches, we can no longer support people on the site. merits”, deplores Véronique Délice. Worse, some advisers, totally overwhelmed, can no longer receive all the job seekers. This is the case of Solange in Argenteuil, with her “portfolio” of 198 people to follow every month. Mission impossible, even with the best of will. Because the planning of advisers also includes other activities, such as relations with companies, registrations at the reception, and now receiving calls on the telephone platform of 3949. How is she? “I give priority to job seekers who need more follow-up or those who I have not seen for a long time. For the moment, my management does not put too much pressure on me in terms of objectives.” An admission that means all the same that in some agencies, a good number of jobs see little (or not) their referring advisor… Katia*, did his calculations. At the rate of two afternoons a week dedicated to follow-up interviews, “out of 120 people, there is a good third that I don’t have time to see. I try to meet in priority those who need support the most.”
“We can’t do our job by email”
Aware of the problem, the management of Pôle Emploi reacted by authorizing since the fall of 2009 other forms of follow-up interviews at a distance, by email or by telephone. It is not enough to put balm in the heart of the advisers. “I have people on the phone that I have never seen! It doesn’t make sense. I can ask if the person has asked for offers, but how can I verify that they have done so or that they have a CV that contains. in ten minutes?” irritates Solange. Answer from the management of Pôle emploi, a little irritated: “The interview by email or by telephone is perhaps not a panacea and cannot apply to all job candidates, but it still allows you to maintain a relationship with the person, even if he wants to call them. again if necessary,” argues Marc Baillot, director of the Pôle emploi Ile-de-France office. A minor evil in an emergency, in a certain way. But the pill is bitter for counselors like Cécile, after sixteen years of work at ANPE. “Our job is also to build a relationship of trust with the job seeker. It is not with a simple email that we can achieve this”. Between the growing outsourcing of counseling services for the unemployed (help with projects, CVs, etc.) and the dematerialization of services (in the 3949 reserved for companies will be added at the end of March), advisers are concerned about their services. future. “We really have the impression that human contact is no longer important, laments Cécile. In any case, knowing the job seekers as well as the companies is very important for the exercise of our profession. gradually its area of responsibility, in favor of a highly compartmentalized organization.
* All advisors’ first names have been changed at their request, to preserve their anonymity. (1) As part of this emergency plan, Christian Charpy, director general of Pôle emploi, announced in July a series of measures, including the hiring of 1,850 counselors in the agencies from September 2009 and 500 to strengthen the telephone platform 3949.
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(2) The law of 24 November 2009 on vocational training provides for the transfer of 800 guidance counselors from Afpavers Pôle emploi in April 2010.
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