CUPE is deeply concerned about the chronic staff shortages at CIUSSS de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal since the beginning of the summer. Since the National Holiday long weekend, an alarming number of staff members have been absent across all hospitals and CHSLDs, including orderlies, service assistants and food service workers. The last two long weekends have been particularly difficult for both clients and staff as COVID-19 outbreaks have begun again.

Here are a few examples of the many unfortunate situations that have had unfortunate consequences for clients, the majority of whom are seniors:

  • At the Grace Dart Extended Care Center, on Saturday, June 25, 7 attendants were missing from all shifts.
  • At the Centre d’hébergement de LaSalle, on June 25 and 26, during the evening shifts, almost 25% of the staff was missing. In addition, the dining room was closed, so residents had to eat in their rooms.
  • At the LaSalle Hospital, both the emergency room and the residential units are consistently missing a large number of orderlies.
  • At the Centre d’hébergement de Lachine, from June 25 to 28, there was always a shortage of at least 2 orderlies per shift. On July 2, during the evening shift, 3 attendants were missing on the 3rd floor and 2 on the 4th floor. The staff, in an outbreak situation, is stretched to the limit.
  • The Douglas Mental Health University Institute is also dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19.
  • Over the long weekend, cafeterias were closed at St. Anne’s Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital. The employer did not notify the unions of the situation.
  • At Lakeshore General Hospital on June 27, there was only one orderly for every 40 users.
  • At the Centre d’hébergement Nazaire-Piché, the Canada Day weekend also saw a significant staff shortage.
  • At St. Anne’s Hospital, during the Canada Day weekend, on the veterans’ floor, the day shift had 2 orderlies for 33 residents instead of 5.

For CUPE 2881, which represents close to 5,000 members at the CIUSSS de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, the situation looks even worse during summer vacations and the month of August. It is therefore necessary to act immediately by offering incentives to attract and retain staff.

“For example, double time for overtime, and half days of vacation added to the banks for those willing to work extra shifts. For this to happen, it takes the will of both CIUSSS management and the Quebec government, and for the measures to be negotiated with the unions, who have several other solutions to propose. This is absolutely essential to avoid unworthy situations between now and the end of the summer,” explained Fanny Demontigny, president of CUPE 2881.

“Across the CIUSSS, our members are exhausted and have been working a lot of overtime lately. The payroll errors of the past few months have contributed to the deterioration of the work climate,” said Demontigny.