As the summer begins, the FIQ-Syndicat des professionnelles en soins de la Montérégie-Est is issuing a clear warning to the Employer: the time for intimidation and bullying is over. It is the CISSS de la Montérégie-Est’s responsibility to ensure services and it should not make the healthcare professionals bear the consequences of its disastrous management.
After imposing mandatory overtime, complete teams are now forced by their managers to stay at work after their shift against their will until healthcare professionals give in under the pressure and agree to stay and work the next shift. “This happened on May 27, 2022 in the emergency department in Sorel and on June 6, it was the birthing room at Pierre-Boucher, two departments where there is a serious staff shortage, known for a long time and where MOT is imposed every day. Will healthcare professionals have to live with this other sword of Damocles hanging over their heads all summer?” asked the president of the FIQ–SPSME, Brigitte Petrie.
Note that this type of incident has happened at least eight times in different departments at the three hospitals in Montérégie-Est (Pierre-Boucher, Hôtel-Dieu de Sorel and Honoré-Mercier). The president of the FIQ-SPSME points out that despite numerous interventions by her union team, the offer of services has never been adjusted by the CISSS de la Montérégie-Est according to the available staff.
“The healthcare professionals are so exhausted that they are impaired, they have just finished a shift and they are forced to stay in a room for hours with their colleagues, under threats. Nobody sleeps, nobody looks after their family and in addition, nobody gets paid! How can this employer dare say that retaining staff is his priority?” an angry Ms. Petrie said.
For the president of the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec–FIQ, Julie Bouchard, this way of proceeding is purely and simply forced labour. “What the healthcare professionals at Montérégie-Est are experiencing is not trivial, reminded the president. It is a management method that goes against workers’ rights. Never would predominantly male work teams be treated in this way. We can’t say it often enough: keeping healthcare professionals against their will to impose MOT is the cause of the current labour shortage in the network. Until Employers break the vicious cycle of intimidation, blackmail and threats, they will increasingly face a difficult choice: cut services and be accountable to the public for their choices.” Remember that last winter, the FIQ filed a complaint with the International Labour Office (ILO) over mandatory overtime to cease the discriminatory management of primarily female healthcare professionals, which harms their health, safety and dignity.