Cry from the heart of nursing

Cri du cœur des infirmières

Three Rivers — “What is happening in the moment, never seen that before!” It is in these terms that the president of the Union of health care professionals Mauricie and Centre-du-Québec (FIQ), Nathalie Perron, has described the current situation in the institutions of the CIUSSS MCQ, in connection with the use of mandatory overtime. The union now wants to launch a cry from the heart in order to obtain an immediate intervention of the ministry of Health to try to resolve the crisis.

“It became unbearable. One of the girls who quit, who fall in combat, who choose to leave and change your domain or go for their bachelor’s degree. Every week, we need to bridge gaps to the right and to the left. There is a management deficit of the workforce, and this is more than just the weekends, it is all the time”, sums up Nathalie Perron.

The end of last week, for example, on the three days of 22, 23 and 24 February, more than 50 shifts were performed in additional time required in the various institutions of the CIUSSS MCQ, ” says Nathalie Perron. Only in the department of intensive care, a shift which has normally nine nurses would have started with only three nurses on the floor, she notes. Same scenario in a ltc facility, where the shift began with three people instead of six.

“It is a pressure that rests on our shoulders, but in the end, these are the residents and patients who do not receive the care they should receive. What we see in this moment, this is only the tip of the iceberg, it is unimaginable,” says Ms. Perron.

The union and management of the CIUSSS MCQ had concluded, in January last, a contract of employment which guaranteed positions to all nurses who wished to obtain a position. A step forward, recognizes the president, but that will begin to make its effects felt in the medium term. “In the meantime, it should still succeed to hold out, and it’s going to take resources to be able to achieve,” says Ms. Perron, that was Thursday in a meeting with a hundred healthcare professionals at a meeting of union delegates. Among them, the president of the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec (FIQ), Nancy Bédard, support was given to the members of the union.

“I can see that the TSO is used consistently across the province. The healthcare professionals cannot work in this way and the situation has gone on too long. The minister of Health and social Services, Danielle McCann, made the promise to abolish the TSO. We await its proposals, and we are ready to discuss with her to address this major problem of management,” she said.

“The provincial budget is coming soon. We hope not to be forgotten,” added Nathalie Perron.


The CIUSSS MCQ, it is recognized that the use of mandatory overtime isn’t pretty for the staff and that the pressure is extremely high on the team currently. However, it is reminded that the use of the OSI is a measure of last resort, and that several other actions are put out before arriving at this solution.

“We live in a difficult situation currently. But unfortunately, we are not in an organization that can afford to stop giving care. The recourse to the OSI did not become a mode of management, on that we can never be in agreement with the union,” says Antranik Handoyan, assistant director of human resources for the CIUSSS MCQ.

Before even getting to the OSI, the managers will first by the list of staff making themselves available for additional time, then will make calls to the staff did not offer availability, a measure that can generate up to 1800 calls per week, ” remarked Mr. Handoyan. A reorganization of the tasks is also considered by having recourse to other trades sometimes and every week, the managers will draw up the portrait of the end of the coming week in view of his planning.

For Mr. Handoyan, the agreement with the FIQ last January, will obviously relieve some of the pressure on the teams, while management believes that it has stepped up efforts not only to promote the profession, but to put in place an offer of post attractive with working conditions that it qualifies as avant-garde. Moreover, the CIUSSS MCQ note have already started to receive applications from the outside, which shows him to be competitive in its offerings compared to other regions.

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