Following an emergency meeting with the political adviser of the Minister of Health and Social Services, Vincent-Gabriel Langlois, the unions of the integrated health and social services centres of Montérégie-Ouest (CISSSMO), underscore just how high expectations are. CUPE 3247 represents about 4600 workers at CISSMO. Mired in serious difficulty prior to the pandemic, the CISSSMO currently finds itself in a dire situation as care and services to the public are nowhere near as good as in other regions in Quebec.

“We’re glad that the Government of Quebec is finally really listening and agreed to meet us this morning. At that meeting, we submitted clear proposals to provide a much-needed jolt. They listened and reacted well, but the proof will be in the actions taken in the coming days. We will be ready to reply pressure, if needed,” declared Simon Beaulieu, President of CUPE 3247.

The cornerstone of the institution’s recovery, according to CUPE 3247, is the reestablishment of healthy and normal labour relations. Management continually abuses its management rights, creating arbitrariness, inconsistencies and discontent, which undermine the morale of employees and erode their working conditions day after day. To top it off, management went overboard in the judgments they made with respect to ministerial orders arising from the COVID-19 situation and how the latter were applied, further worsening matters.

To date, CISSSMO has close to 8,000 active grievances, including the 3,541 from CUPE 3247.

“From January to November 2020, 1,270 workers were hired, but 870 left. That is a retention rate of a meager 30%. Currently, 20% of our members are off work due to illness. This is the end result of years of underappreciation, overwork and demoralization that these catastrophic working relations have produced. Imagine how bad morale is among the staff. It comes as no surprise that care and services to the public have taken a major hit,” deplored Simon Beaulieu.

This morning, CUPE 3247 presented specific demands to the minister’s political adviser, seeking an end to the abuse of management’s rights, a stinging rebuke to management, proactive and efficient management, a transparent accountability mechanism and an extensive reorganization of working relations to implement effective and top-quality public services which the entire public across the territory can access.

CUPE 3247 represents some 4,600 members in category 2, para-technical personnel, auxiliary services and trades; and category 3, office personnel, technicians and administration professionals. It is the largest union at the CISSSMO.