The Health Care Network Is Breaking Down — Enough!

Federation of Health and Social Services (FSSS-CSN) —

Despite various targeted promises for Quebec’s health care and social services network, many of the political parties do not seem to grasp the urgency of finding serious solutions to the crisis facing workers.

From now (September 25) until the election, the Federation of Health and Social Services (FSSS-CSN) will expose one problem per day, accompanied by a proposed solution. The next government will have to respond to the important problem of staff shortages. « We are not far from the breaking point in our network, » warns FSSS-CSN Public Sector Vice President Josée Marcotte. If we do not improve wages and working conditions quickly, we are likely to see more and more workers turning their backs on the network.

Problem: Shortage of Staff

Poor workforce planning by administrators is causing serious problems on the ground. There is a growing shortage of health care and social services workers in all job descriptions and facilities. The teams are constantly short-staffed and personnel is exhausted. The instability of work schedules and workplaces makes the environment unattractive and many people leave the network or are thinking of leaving or going to work in the private sector. To offset the shortage, employers are forced to implement mandatory overtime or use staffing agencies. It’s a vicious circle.

Moreover, as the Institut de la statistique du Québec has shown, salaries for comparable positions are lower in the public sector than in the private sector. This is a major problem. More and more workers are choosing to leave the network and recruiting new people is becoming increasingly difficult. The health care sector has not been spared from the labour shortage affecting Quebec. « If we do not keep staff in the network, the overload will only intensify for those who stay and even more people will leave, » explains FSSS-CSN President Jeff Begley.

Solution: « We must stop taking care of only the doctors. Salaries must be improved quickly and stability provided to all those who permit the health care network to function, » says Jeff Begley. Notably, just as the government has done for school administrators, he is also calling for an immediate improvement in wages in the health care and social services network.

« We also need to put in place effective incentives that will make it possible to fill weekend shifts on a voluntary basis. This would also allow other staff members to be relieved of the obligation to work on weekends and do mandatory overtime. The public network must be made more attractive, » concludes the FSSS-CSN President.

About the FSSS-CSN

The Federation of Health and Social Services (FSSS-CSN) has over 110,000 members working in the public and private sectors. It is the largest labour organization in the health care and social services sector and in the daycare sector. The FSSS-CSN actively promotes a more equitable, democratic and supportive society.