Limit abuse of mandatory overtime for nursing staff

At Hôtel-Dieu de Lévis, managers have dealt with chronic understaffing by routinely making use of unscheduled mandatory overtime, thus pushing the nursing staff to the brink of exhaustion (ref. 1). According to the Human Resources Department, “the hospital has been working for several months with the union to remedy the situation” (ref. 2). Several months? Meanwhile, the staff are being ingenuously asked to put in overtime with no concern for either them or their families, who must bear the consequences. Nor is there any concern about the impact on the quality of patient care. Overtime should be required only for unforeseen contingencies.

Équipe autonomiste feels that employers and unions are being irresponsible by not giving priority to patient care and to the quality of life of staff and their families (Our value #3: The family). The time for talking has passed. It’s now time to act and find solutions. If it’s just a matter of money, they should cut back on the excessive number of managers and hire nursing staff. Perhaps these thoughtless managers should be emptying bedpans and changing bed sheets to make up for the understaffing (Our value # 1: People should be accountable for their decisions and actions). Are the collective agreements so rigid that the hospital would rather not create any new job positions? Then make those collective agreements more flexible. In Quebec, the unions likewise should be put back in their proper place as soon as possible. These abuses are a festering sore that will only get worse and end up ruining our health-care system and our society. By passing on a well-run society to the future, we’ll also ensure fairness between older and younger generations (Our value # 2).

So discussions will be going on for several more months? How many years have we been told this? And yet nothing has really changed. Yes, Équipe autonomiste feels it’s time to clean house. Do you feel just as strongly as we do?