Popular education: tight financial situation

Popular Education Barometer 2023 Credit: Carenews.

Popular Education Barometer 2023 Credit: Carenews.

The difficult financial situation, aggravated by inflation, and not compensated by the support of public authorities, results from the 4th edition of the annual barometer on the activity and economic and budgetary situation of employees in educational structures, published by the Hexopée employers' union in partnership with Recherches et solidarités.

984 buildings from several branches of activity responded to this barometer: entertainment, housing and housing with support, sports, social and family tourism or training organizations.

Popular Education Barometer 2023 Credit: Camille Dorival, Carenews.

Reduction of public funding

Regarding public funding, firstly, 29% of facilities state that it has been reduced. 21% also report that their total funds for 2023 are significantly lower than what they budgeted for. But above all, it seems to be the costs that have exploded: thus 30% of popular educational structures estimate that their costs were much higher than planned, especially in terms of energy and staff costs.

In total, slightly more than half expect a balanced or surplus result, while 14% predict a deficit that could exceed 10% of the budget.

The cash flow of these structures is often fragile: 26% of them declare that they cover less than three months of operations, and 44% between three and six months.

39% of them also had to postpone investments planned for 2023. For 13% of facilities, these were key investments for the facility's future.

Read also: Community centers and MJC sound the alarm

The impact of inflation

Furthermore, 77% of structures state that inflation has affected their activity (23% “significantly” and 54% “somewhat”). In order to solve this situation, 57% of structures have decided or plan to increase the prices of activities, 45% develop new activities and 44% renegotiate subsidies or multi-year agreements on goals and means.

75% of structures believe that public financiers are quite (46%) or completely indifferent (29%) to their situation (inflation, salary increase, cancellation of Covid aid, etc.).

Overall, only 26% of popular education employers say they are optimistic about the future of their structure, compared to 31% in 2022. On the other hand, 18% recognize serious concerns that may force them to rethink their ambitions. , 8% believe that they will have to make difficult decisions to ensure the survival of their structure, and 3% do not rule out the risk of filing for bankruptcy in the short or medium term.

The results of this barometer therefore confirm the warnings that the sector has been giving for several years. As David Cluzeau, General Envoy of Hexopée, says, “this barometer is a disturbing demonstration of the reality that we have been warning about for two years: the indifference of public authorities to the financial difficulties of the field economic sector which brings together with almost 200,000 employees and which helps to strengthen the cohesion of society. This leads the management of our non-profit companies to consider either the consequences of inflation on the beneficiaries of our activities – which we have so far refused to respect our goal of general interest – or to take tough measures in employment matters to ensure the sustainability of the structures and protect as many positions as possible. Therefore, we repeat our urgent demands that public financiers assume responsibility, inseparable from the economic model of our non-profit structures and structures of general interest. »

Camille Dorival

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