Quebec nurses call for end to emergency decrees
Throughout the pandemic, nurses across Quebec have organized sit-ins near their workplaces to protest forced overtime and working conditions that have cause many to burn out during the pandemic.
Quebec nurses say they are fed up with ministerial decrees that modify their working conditions, saying the measures do nothing to help combat the shortage of workers in the health-care system.
Five nurses’ unions have come together to call on the government to drop the emergency decrees. They say 155 orders have been imposed during the pandemic, most of which directly impact nurses’ jobs with little consultation with unions.
Nathalie Levesque, president of the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec (FIQ), says the decrees changed working conditions with no regard to staffers’ expertise or their personal lives.
Josée Marcotte, a spokesperson for the Federation of Health and Social Services (FSSS-CSN), says the measures have done nothing to attract new nurses. Current working conditions have been blamed for droves of nurses fleeing the public system during the pandemic.
« It’s not with a ministerial decree that we will be able to get out of this [staffing] crisis, » Marcotte said. Recently, the staffing shortage has led to the partial closure of the Lachine Hospital’s emergency room.
Speaking on behalf of Quebec’s health minister, the minister responsible for Montreal Chantal Rouleau defended the government’s actions, saying Christian Dubé is doing everything he can to restore a healthy system.
Source: CBC News
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