At the end of a three-hour meeting with Gaétan Barrette, the three unions representing MUHC employees are still skeptical about the health minister’s commitment to find solutions to the crisis that is rocking the hospital centre. While they appreciated being invited to the meeting, the unions decry the fact that no formal agenda was issued ahead of time. The three unions representing MUHC employees are the Syndicat des professionnelles en soins infirmiers et cardiorespiratoires du CUSM–FIQ, the Syndicat des employés du CUSM (CSN) and the Alliance du personnel professionnel et technique de la santé (APTS).
For Mr. Barrette, the overall problems are attributable to decisions made by the MUHC’s senior management and Board of Directors. He denies any responsibility in underfunding the MUHC. He also blames the unions, the employees and the population and he criticizes them for exaggerating the state of the health system and thereby scaring off future recruits who hoped to have a career in public health.
The health minister promised to replace by the end of the summer the 10 Board members who have resigned. He also specified that he would appoint new directors who share his vision and policy directions, naturally. For the unions, it’s clear that the health minister wants to tighten his hold on the MUHC.
The unions each want a seat on the Board
The spokespersons for the three unions attending the meeting took the opportunity to present Minister Barrette with a demand. For them, to ensure that MUHC employees’ point of view is taken into account on the Board, the three unions clearly have to have a seat. An official lettre from the three unions will be sent to the minister shortly. Without making any promises, the health minister didn’t say no and he affirmed that he would consider the question.