Over 500 healthcare professionals from around Quebec protested today outside Lakeshore General Hospital management offices. They denounced staff’s unsustainable working conditions at the Denis-Benjamin-Viger CHSLD and at several care units in the Lakeshore Hospital.
Nancy Bédard, President of the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec – FIQ, and Johanne Riendeau, President of the Syndicat des professionnelles en soins de santé de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, addressed the new government, asking them to quickly implement solutions to restore humane working conditions for healthcare professionals and to plan workforce recruitment and retention programs.
The chronic staff shortage, work overload, unreplaced absences and mandatory overtime prevent healthcare professionals from providing proper patient care. “We tried every possible method of communication to alert the CIUSSS management concerning the CHSLD: work overload complaint, expert reports, protests, alerting the CNESST, an inspection by the Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec (OIIQ). Our members are out of steam. Last Sunday, the Lakeshore ER nurses held an impromptu sit-in to voice their distress but things aren’t going well at the mother-baby centre or intensive care unit either,” said FIQ-SPSSODIM President Johanne Riendeau.
The union intervened on numerous occasions through various platforms. Arbitrator Richard Bertrand even decided in favour of the union last April but management hasn’t responded and isn’t taking action to remedy the situation.
“It’s completely unacceptable! The Denis-Benjamin-Viger CHSLD is not a good example to follow: the employer is not providing the basic conditions healthcare professionals need in order to give safe, quality care. The employer isn’t respecting their rights. When everyone is speaking up—healthcare professionals, experts, the justice system—and management doesn’t react, it’s called organizational mistreatment, as Ombudsperson Marie Rinfret so eloquently stated in her report last week,” said FIQ President Nancy Bédard.