Montréal, June 26, 2014 – The nurses, licensed practical nurses and respiratory therapists as well as other categories of professionals demonstrated at CLSC Côte-des-Neiges to protest the cutbacks of 1.2 million that are projected at the Centre de santé et de services sociaux de la Montagne for 2014-2015.
We didn’t have to wait long for the healthcare system to be on the chopping block. Already, on May 29 last, the director of the CSSS de la Montagne announced a reduction in the 2014-2015 budget via a service memo: $963,000 will be cut from direct services to the population, thus affecting all job categories. In the case of the Côte-des-Neiges neighbourhood, the CLSC is the gateway for a population of diverse backgrounds particularly for immigrant families and young mothers.
“For the healthcare professionals, this means 4 less nurse positions, but also work hours not being replaced. The employer is also cutting the use of independent labour (private agencies). This latter point is positive, if he hires professionals to replace this external personnel which made up 17.2% of the workforce for the 2011-2012 fiscal year. This is not the case and even if the use of private agencies is reduced, it’s a real hemorrhage which will cause the services to the population to be diminished and will surely result in a work overload for all the workers and a reduction in access to services. This is dramatic for the Côte-des-Neiges area”, stated Claude Boucher, 3rd Vice-President of the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec – FIQ.
The other CSSS employees are also affected, like the social workers, the occupational therapists, the physiotherapists and the nutritionists, as well as the administrative services. “It is very disturbing, the Director talks about structural changes in order to support the budget cuts in the long term. This vocabulary points to the offer of services being re-organized outside the public network. However, the CSSS serves the areas of Montréal, like Parc-Extension, Côte-des-Neiges and downtown, where there are pressing needs and where the population doesn’t really have the financial means to turn to other resources. In addition, the Info-Santé services will be affected when we know that their function is to advise, orient and reassure the population. This could increase the overcrowding in the CLSC and hospital waiting rooms”, added Claude Boucher.
About the FIQ
The Syndicat des professionnelles en soins du CSSS de la Montagne represents nearly 360 members. It is affiliated with the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec – FIQ which represents more than 62,000 members, which is most of the nursing and cardio-respiratory professionals working in the Québec public institutions.