The management of Pôle Emploi announced Wednesday that it would strengthen the security of its advisers, a week after the murder of one of its employees, coldly shot by an unemployed engineer of 45 years in Valence (Drôme). After the tragedy, psychological support had been offered to the agents and the next day, the 900 or so agencies remained closed.
“The tragedy in Valence will lead us to strengthen our work to ensure even more security,” Deputy Director General Paul Bazin said on Wednesday during a telephone press point after a central social and economic committee. (CSEC), devoted to the tragedy. “Nothing would have allowed to anticipate and even less to prevent (this drama)”, he added, specifying that the murder caused “fear” among the 55,000 agents of Pôle emploi.
“In the short term, our regional directors have the possibility of setting up, when the situation of the agency requires it, private security agents who can control the entries”, he indicated in particular.
The incident reporting follow-up policy will also be strengthened and simplified and the filing of complaints will be supported more systematically. Paul Bazin mentioned a strengthening of the training of managers and advisers, as well as an acceleration of the security diagnostics of the agencies carried out by the police.
Recalling the security measures already in place, the management cites the training of nearly 10,000 agents in tension management, the presence of buttons on each computer to alert in the event of a problem, or the system of reporting sheets to manage the aggression situations. Job seekers can also be banned from an agency.
9,000 reports and 223 complaints in 2020
Pôle emploi has identified “a little more than 9,000 reports” of attacks or incivility in 2020, an “atypical” year due to the health crisis due in particular to confinements. This is less than in 2019 when the figure was 10,000.
Among the reports, less than 7% relate to serious verbal threats and less than 1% to acts of physical violence, the remainder being verbal or rude. All reports represent 0.2% of agency visits (6.3 million) and less than 0.05% of phone calls (19 million), underlines management, specifying that these facts led to 233 complaints in 2020 .
Representative of the operator’s first union, David Vallaperta (CFDT) considers that the security measures announced are “rather in the right direction”, and welcomes the fact of reviewing the functioning of the internal reporting system. But he adds that he alerted management to the need for support work for agents because a feeling of fear has “become embedded”.
For his part, Sébastien Socias (FO) believes that “reassure the agents and take security measures, yes, but we must analyze the causes of the rise in tensions”. He evokes “problems linked to the compensation of job seekers” and a “not insignificant” rise in reports since the tragedy via a sort of “snowball effect”. He warns against the risk of seeing “the same consequences” reproducing for lack of analysis.
For the SNU, Michel Breuvart considers this plan “insufficient”, pleading in particular for strong responses to put an end to the insults suffered by agents on social networks.