The Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec–FIQ | Secteur privé (FIQP) had to appear before the Superior Court to oblige the employer of Vigi Dollard-des-Ormeaux and Vigi Reine-Élizabeth, private subsidized CHSLDs, to conduct an inspection of the air quality and ventilation systems and to provide personal protective equipment to all of its employees.
“It is unacceptable that during a global pandemic, when all of Quebec is focused on what is going on in CHSLDs, which are seeing an overwhelming amount of fatalities, that we have to appear before the court in order for employers to take on their full responsibilities and protect employees and residents,” declared Sonia Mancier, FIQP President.
On May 8, the union learned through the CIUSSS du Centre-Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal that the ventilation system in the Vigi Mont-Royal CHSLD was broken and that an RNA virus was detected in the air following an environmental SARS-CoV-2 sampling. This CHSLD had one of the worst outbreaks in Quebec with 100% of its residents infected. It had 223 cases and 68 deaths. “We immediately questioned the human resources management of the Vigi Santé Ltée regarding the situation in the other two institutions where cases were also increasing exponentially. Since April, a disproportionate number of employees were diagnosed with COVID-19. We cannot tolerate health and safety risks for our members and residents,” exclaimed Sonia Mancier.
The FIQP will monitor the situation
Once the union cornered Vigi Santé Ltée by going to the Superior Court, it had no choice but to quickly comply with its legal obligations and immediately hired three ventilation and air quality inspection firms. Vigi Santé Ltée also had to officially agree before the Superior Court to provide the FIQP with the inspection reports. “We will closely monitor the employer’s health and safety efforts and we will turn to the Superior Court once again if the inspection results are not satisfactory and if the employer does not provide its employees with proper personal protective equipment,” added Sonia Mancier.