CUPE members who are health and social services workers in the Lower St. Lawrence region met with Member of the National Assembly for Rivière-du-Loup-Témiscouata, Denis Tardif, to report on the alarming situation in the region’s residential and long-term care centres. The union is calling for an urgent action from the Minister of Health and Social Services.

“Staff are exhausted and thinking of quitting. They cannot provide the kind of high-quality care they would like—the quality clients deserve. We had a day recently where 17 out of 31 personal support workers were absent! Management forces these workers to do mandatory overtime every week, often several days a week,” said Johanne Campagna, president of CUPE 5007.

Worse, staff who refuse to work overtime are threatened with discipline. The employees have lost all trust in the employer. The union is denouncing Integrated Health and Social Services Centre (CISSS) management for its failure to act. 

“Eleven shifts didn’t have coverage between April 5 and 11. A day with no uncovered shifts is extremely rare. Plus, the current management systematically violates the labour law by requiring more than two hours of mandatory overtime. We’ve had to file a lot of grievances. We are asking MNA Denis Tardif to intervene directly with Minister McCann to demand a radical change of course from the CISSS,” said Yanick Proulx, CUPE union representative.