Hundreds of members of the Montreal Island South Centre APTS and CHUM (Alliance du personnel professionnel et technique de la santé et des services sociaux), the FIQ-SPSS (Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec, the Montreal Island South Centre SPSS) and CUPE 4628 (Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 4628) gathered at noon yesterday in front of the Notre-Dame Hospital to vent their frustration at the administrative circus they have to put up with every day.
Calling out the disorganization
“We have come together today to call out the disorganization at the Montreal Island South Centre CIUSSS. The employer is simply missing in action when it comes to administration. We’re still looking for a spokesperson! This simply makes no sense both for the employees we represent and the union. Our demands, cases and grievances are piling up due to a lack of means, time and goodwill. We can no longer figure out the reason because we can’t choose between the three! In addition, hundreds of people have been waiting months for the payment of their premiums. In some cases, we’re talking about thousands of dollars they’re owed! If the employer does not honour the measures they promised to attract and retain employees, how can they be surprised at the staff shortage paralyzing our health care system?” said Julie Houle, president of the Montreal Island Centre South APTS.
To increase public awareness and draw attention to the employer’s lack of respect for their demands, various union groups decided to get together and hold the event called “La fête de la désorganisation” (The Disorganization Party), bringing in clowns, jugglers and other circus performers willing to take part for the cause.
“At the present time, employees’ rights are all too often thwarted, because nobody’s accountable. The employers’ representatives struggle to get a clear mandate to settle disputes. Labour relations have become excessively judicial. It’s not normal. It’s taxpayer money that is being needlessly spent in legal fees. Moreover, the poor conditions administrative staff has to work in has increased employee turnover and contributed to the circus we’ve had to live with every single day,” said Samuel Sicard, president of CUPE 4628.
In spite of the staff shortage, management of the Montreal Island South Centre CIUSSS has struggled to implement effective measures to attract and retain personnel. By failing to take these measures, administration has been perpetuating the vicious circle of the current system and contributing to the excessive workload, resulting in burnouts and resignations. All unions attending the event agree that immediate action must be taken to restore a healthy and viable working environment.
“After a one-year wait, the Montreal Island South Centre CIUSSS must pay its health care professionals what is called for in the collective agreement. The situation is untenable, especially since the rights of health care professionals are being violated. It is imperative that lasting measures be established to offer the minimum – a healthy and attractive working environment. We’re asked to be patient and that solutions will be implemented in short order, but nothing is done. Excuses no longer cut it. It’s high time that management be accountable for its actions, “ declared Denis Joubert, president of the Montreal Island South-Centre FIQ SPSS.
Nathalie Moreau, president of APTS CHUM, who was also in attendance and made reference to the excessive administrative shortcomings that her members have to bear, called management to account. “We’re expecting an answer from Vincent Lehouillier, the new president of the Montreal Island South Centre CIUSSS, to our request for a meeting we issued to him last June 30. How can we hope to see those at various levels of the organization take concrete steps to improve the situation confronting our members when the big boss himself is not even acknowledging our requests? He’s showing disrespect not only to our members but to all employees of the RSSS. We work tirelessly to ensure the health of Montrealers. The least they could do is take the time to hear us out,” said Moreau.