Science in Defense of Public Services

Epidemics provide an opportunity to take into account the results of scientific research to inform political decision making. As university professor-researchers, we make our decisions to expose the crisis – in particular, in the context of the organization and management of public services – on scientific knowledge to remove networks from government to education, health and social services. Let’s call it the basis. From the epidemic.


Simon Viviers and Stephanie Demers
Professor respectively in the Faculty of Education at Université Laval and Professor in the Department of Educational Sciences at Université du Québec en Outauais *

COVID-19 has emphatically revealed: Public services are in crisis. Facing a “shortage” of personnel, we saw the Prime Minister begging health workers to stay in the network, return from sick leave, cancel the holiday by decree.1, Then hasty form Beneficiary Attendants to care for the elderly in CHSLD – with the risks involved.

Finally, we have seen that school service centers want to employ unqualified “teachers”.2 And also brought to light the sad inadequacy of mental health, youth safety and resources for women.

Could this crisis in public services be averted? Yes. Is it absorbent? Yes.

As the government learned to do in public health during COVID-19, it must now base its decisions on the science available to understand the origins of this crisis and the paths to follow.

It should be remembered that scientific research aims, among other things, to understand the meaning of events that shape or influence human life, especially to find explanations, sometimes caused by these effects. Estimating effects or dynamics. The resulting results make it possible to inform decisions and interventions related to improving the well-being of people and ecosystems and improving the quality of life to respond to unforeseen circumstances. This various knowledge is often constructed with ambient actors and anchors in later experiences, observations and concerns.

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do more with less

However, in relation to public services, researchers and actors in the field have been sounding the alarm for a long time. One after the other, research not only shows the decline of public services, but also unacceptable attacks on the work organization of those working in these services, making the achievement of their mission entirely theoretical. In fact, how can we imagine that the services to which every person is entitled can meet the crying and growing needs when their existence is compromised by resorting to a private enterprise model focused on economic profitability, Which ultimately leads actors to “do more with more”. atleast”?

Scientific research as well as testimony from actors and beneficiaries of public services have been declaring disasters for three decades that we would be able to prevent if successive governments listened.

Exhaustion and abandonment of studies, loss of expertise in important areas, quality hampered by rationalization measures, inaccessible, very limited, even mundane services… Today we see that beneficiaries and actors in the field pay dearly – With their lives, for some – governments’ refusal to heed these warnings.

In short, society can see the disastrous consequences of refusing to listen to those whose main mandate is to inform public action. This is why we invite our research colleagues to join the defense of public services, emphasizing the importance of basing political and managerial decisions on the results of the research we do.

Consult the full list of 242 professors and researchers who have signed up. Read “Quebec confirmed its power to cancel nurses’ holidays this summer” Read “Teacher shortages: criticized a job offer”

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About the Author: Abbott Hopkins

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