Nurses on call in seven communities in Hudson’s Bay, northern Quebec, the held a sit-in Thursday night to denounce their conditions were forced to return to work by the 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 had told them: “I hear your cry, but I will not help you and will even force you to return.” That sends the wrong message,” criticizes Patrick Guay, vice-president of the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Quebec.
About 15 nurses scattered in seven villages along the Hudson Bay coast refused to care Thursday night to protest the lack of staff and their poor working conditions.
Faced with this sit-in, the Inuulitsivik Health and Social Services Center (CSI) appealed to the Administrative Labor Court, which ordered, among other things, that the nurses return to work and respond to on-call duty.
“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 It’s an archaic and outdated way of managing.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,” Mr Guay said.
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“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.
Given the lack of personnel and even material, they have been asking for help for almost a year.
A meeting with the director general of the facility is scheduled for Monday. Expectations for caregivers are high, with some ready to quit en masse, Mr Gabreau warns.
Inuulitsivik Health Center still hadn’t answered our questions by Friday night.
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