An example of collective, union and professional advocacy
May 2, 2019 – The Centre d’hébergement Denis-Benjamin-Viger on Île-Bizard is sadly known for its inability to provide quality care to the patients because of an alarming lack of staff and an excessive workload. In 2016, a FIQ team pointed out the flaws to the institution’s employer, but their demands remained unheeded, even after an expert’s damning report and an arbitrator’s decision. The case is still before the courts.
This process was rich in both challenges and initiatives. A panel in FIQ colours used the first OTPP Network to share its experience and recalled the different steps in the process. The union consultants and representatives, Elizabeth Rich, Nancy Moss, Johanne Riendeau and Marie-Claudel Mathieu gave details on the demands, legal actions, mobilization and communication, which they planned for keeping union pressure on the professional issues of this residential centre’s committee on care.
At the end of the presentation, the participants understood the need to grab every opportunity to share the disastrous findings on their practice conditions and poor care quality in the health and social services network.
In the specific case of the Centre d’hébergement Denis-Benjamin-Viger, it was impossible for the care team to meet the patients’ essential needs. For example, the healthcare professionals, in insufficient numbers, could not help feed the patients enough or ensure all the personal hygiene care in line with the patients’ needs. Several stakeholders and
bodies, including an expert in organization of care and doctor in nursing, the CNESST and OIIQ, validated these findings.
This case attests to the major steps taken by the FIQ in organization of work and shows the way for union actions that must be included in the battle for obtaining safe, quality healthcare professional-to-patient ratios everywhere in Québec.