Representatives of the FIQ – Syndicat des professionnelles en soins de santé de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal and the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec–FIQ have to go before the Superior Court of Québec to ensure compliance with a ruling from April 2018, which issued court orders that the CIUSSS de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal is blatantly disregarding. The Centre d’hébergement Denis-Benjamin-Viger, which is part of the CIUSSS, is still not providing basic patient services. In 2016, the union flagged the lack of care in the institution to the employer, a lack that leaves patients’ essential needs unmet, and is caused by the chronic staff shortage and excessive workload. The employer chose to disregard the warning.
“It is truly unbelievable that we have to go to court, once again, to argue in favour of patients’ dignity and rights, to ensure they receive quality care. Healthcare professionals are so overloaded that they are unable to meet all of the patients’ basic needs. The employer no longer meets professional standards and must take concrete measures to eliminate the excessive workload and allow healthcare professionals to provide safe, quality care,” said Johanne Riendeau, President of the FIQ-SPSS of the Ouest-de l’île-de-Montréal.
In May 2017, an expert report was issued, which gave a damning assessment and, like the arbitration decision, proposed very specific recommendations to hire more staff and reorganize work. “The arbitrator ordered the employer to create more positions for nurses, licensed practical nurses and beneficiary attendants. Not only did the employer do nothing, but continues to delay deadlines with legal proceedings. It’s completely unacceptable because patients’ rights and dignity are being trampled,” added Johanne Riendeau
“The FIQ publicly denounces this situation, which is definitely not an isolated case. In other institutions of the CIUSSS de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal and in Quebec, the excessive workload and staff shortage jeopardize the quality and safety of care. Healthcare professionals would like employers and the government to face facts and get on board with solutions proposed by the FIQ in local negotiations or implement safe healthcare professional-to-patient ratios,” said Denyse Joseph, Vice-President of the FIQ.