Published on 10 Jan. 2022 at 18: 50Updated day on 10 Jan. 2022 at 18: 50
About fifteen associations of local elected officials, five ministers…. After a chaotic back-to-school period and the day after a very popular strike in National Education , the number of participants said a lot about the importance of meeting organized this Friday morning by videoconference between local authorities and the government.
“The message was unanimous on our side: let’s cooperate! The circulation of information between the State and the communities is insufficient”, summarizes Jean-Luc Moudenc, first vice-president of Urban France, the association of large cities. The mayor (LR) of Toulouse suggests the establishment of a “crisis unit” specific to National Education between the State and local authorities.
The many changes to health protocol since the beginning of January had caused a lot of tension in the town halls. “We need more anticipation. When we make decisions of this nature, we must ensure that the stewardship follows, ”insists Christophe Bouillon, the president of the Association of small towns in France (APVF), and mayor of Barentin, in Seine-Maritime.
“We all said that we could work better if we were better informed upstream”, abounds Caroline Cayeux, the mayor (DVD) of Beauvais and president of Villes de France, the association of municipalities of 14.000 at 100. 000 inhabitants.
Main novelty of the morning, Olivier Véran, the Minister of Health, announced a greater reimbursement of the expenses incurred by local authorities to run their vaccination centers. Security costs as well as the transport of vulnerable people to vaccination centers will now be taken into account. “In 2021, there are budgetary discussions to open at this stage 100 millions of euros. But we will open all the necessary credits, ”says the office of Jacqueline Gourault, the Minister of Territorial Cohesion.
HR additional costs
“There is already a good reimbursement rate. In Toulouse, my costs were taken into account up to 50%”, recognizes Jean-Luc Moudenc. Financially, the “real problem” in schools, according to him, is linked to the “additional HR costs” generated by the resurgence of the health crisis, between the replacement absent staff and the strengthening of the cleaning protocol. “In my city, the additional costs generated by the Covid at school in 2020 and 2022 have already risen to 14,5 millions. But I only got a reimbursement from the State of 40.000 euros”, he underlines.
Associations of elected officials must meet soon with the Ministry of Territorial Cohesion and Bercy to take stock of the impact of the crisis on their finances. “We are going to take a detailed look at the additional costs and tariff losses”, says one in the entourage of Jacqueline Gourault.
In a press release published this Friday afternoon, the Association of Mayors of France (AMF) reaffirmed that “the State must fully support the generalization of CO2 sensors in the schools it recommends”. Their acquisition “by the voluntary municipalities does not come under their compulsory expenses for schools, but intervenes within the framework of the management of the health crisis decided at the national level”, justifies the association.
An envelope of 20 million euros had been opened by the State to help local communities to equip themselves. “If this fund was completely consumed, we would replenish it”, reiterated Jean-Michel Blanquer, the Minister of National Education, on France Info in the morning.