Nurses on call in seven Hudson’s Bay communities on duty Thursday night a sit-in to denounce their working conditions were forced to return to work by a court, which their union deeply regrets.
“When the nurses are forced into this ultimate act of mobilization, it is a cry for help. There it is as if the employer told them: “I hear your cry, but I will not help you and will even force you to return.” It sends the wrong message,” laments Patrick Guay, vice president of the Quebec Interprofessional Health Federation (FIQ ).
About fifteen nurses, scattered in seven villages along the Hudson’s Bay coast, refused to attend Thursday night in protest of glaring staff shortages and their working conditions.
In this remote region, nurses are on duty evenings and nights in pharmacies, small healthcare facilities similar to CLSCs. And they are called when someone comes to care, explains Mr. Guay.
Faced with that sit-in, the Inuulitsivik Health and Human Services Center appealed to the Administrative Labor Court on Thursday, whose decision specifically ordered nurses to resume work and respond to emergency calls.
“The employer has opted for coercion. It’s an archaic and outdated way of managing. Instead, we need to sit down with the union and find real long-term solutions. We force them to go back to work, but the problem is still there,” says Patrick Guay.
“These nurses feel their rights have been violated to report situations that aren’t working,” added Cyril Gabreau, President of the Northern Union of Hudson’s Bay Nurses (FIQ).
Especially since it has been almost a year since they called for help given the lack of staff and even supplies, while certain materials sometimes arrive already expired, according to the President.
And to illustrate the lack of manpower, he gives concrete examples: “In the village of Ivujivik there are three nurses, normally there would be six or seven. In Puvirnituq there are two when there should be six. »
A much-anticipated meeting with the Director General of the facility is scheduled for Monday afternoon. Expectations for caregivers are high, with some ready to quit en masse, Mr Gabreau warns.
Inuulitsivik’s health center had not answered our questions on Friday evening.
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