February 22, 2024

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Psychological Education |  Unfair unpaid internships, condemn UdeM students

Psychological Education | Unfair unpaid internships, condemn UdeM students

The General Association of Students in Psychology Education of the University of Montreal (AGÉPEUM) organized a demonstration on Thursday to condemn the fact that the problem is affecting the most popular programs among women.


In order to earn a degree as a psychology educator and work in their field, students must volunteer for two seven-month internships totaling 920 hours while taking their university courses.

According to the association, this puts students in a precarious situation financially and in terms of their mental health.

“What do psychologists, nurses, social workers, speech therapists, and teachers have in common? These are professions where women are the majority and internships are not paid,” deplores Marguerite Sabourin, who is in her first year of a bachelor’s degree in psychoeducation.

Women in assisted relationships are overworked and underpaid. They have been asking for better terms for years, but the government turns a deaf ear. Why are women ignored when they have legitimate demands?

Marguerite Sabourin, student of psychology

Naïmé Daoust-Zidane, who is in the second year of her master’s degree, spoke about the Ministry of Higher Education’s recent creation of an Observatory on student well-being and mental health in higher education. However, he says, “The same ministry denied us the perspective scholarship for Masters in Psychology. We’re allowed to do 560 mandatory hours of volunteering in a master’s degree program at our own expense, and you said we’re worried about our mental health? »

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“At a time when no service is free and not too expensive, it is unthinkable for practitioners to provide a service without a salary to meet their basic needs,” says Virginie Goyer, a second-year undergraduate in psychology.

Annabel Perthiaume, Professor and Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières Internship Strike, Women’s Strike: An Anthology of the Feminist Struggle for Student WagesShe has extensively documented the issue of unpaid internships, and in fact, she mainly penalizes women.

In mental education, nursing, and social work, students often do their internships in the public sector, while in engineering or law—fields that attract more men—internships are often in the private sector.

However, he said in a phone interview, the Quebec government “offers financial and tax credits to encourage private companies to hire paid interns. So it reproduces gender inequalities by using this double standard in approving internship work. »

Therefore, Ms.me Perthium. They are not protected for their health and safety on the job, while private practitioners are required to have real wages, labor standards and protections afforded by levers that recognize their overtime hours.