About 300 healthcare workers gathered in front of the offices of the president of the treasury Board and member of parliament for Champlain, Sonia Lebel, Saturday, at Three Rivers. They called for a reinvestment in public services in order to combat the overload of work and better wage conditions.
“For three years, we want three dollars and a dollar for the catching-up of low-paid workers. Even in 2020, the workers who are most essential for Quebec are low-paid workers, and I believe that everything absolutely must change,” explained Pascal Bastarache, president of the staff Union paratechnique, auxiliary services and trades to the CIUSSS-MCQ.
The workers are also calling for increases in fixed amounts.
“This is to avoid that there’s increases by percentage as one has always known. Imagine a 3% increase on an average salary of $ 35,000 per year compared to members who earn 100 000 dollars per year. It creates inequities exponential”, added Frédéric Beaulieu, president of the staff Union office at CIUSSS-MCQ.
The regional vice-president of the federation of health and social services of the CSN, Marie-Line Séguin, and was exchanged on the subject with the prime minister François Legault, who was on a visit in the Mauricie region on Friday. His answers were disappointed.
“He told me that it was our side that it was not, that it is we who refuse to move things forward and we sit at the table of negotiations. Me, I know for a fact that this is not the case,” said Ms. Séguin.
Nine regions unite their voices
Among the protesters, there were health workers from the Montreal, Laval, Quebec, Laurentides, Lanaudière, Montérégie, Chaudière-Appalaches, Mauricie and Centre-du-Québec. They were unanimous in saying that the government Legault must re-examine its ways of doing things.
“The government despises is currently the guardian angels and all the people who work in the field of health. Then you come here today to hear the representatives of the Laurentians,” said Steve Bouchard, president TWU Laurentian mountains.
“I have worked with in fear of catching the COVID-19. I share my computer with the nurses (…) I had a better recognition at Mcdonalds who offered me coffee every morning!” lamented France Tremblay, administrative officer in an OTOLARYNGOLOGY clinic of Laval.
Fears of the second vagueIl time to act is now, according to union representatives, since it is feared more and more the appearance of a second wave of COVID-19 in Quebec.
“The second wave, we see it all! Sit down now, why the rush to get ready because that if it goes like the first wave, we will be ruthless and will expose, without ceasing”, has threatened Jeff Begley, president of the federation of health and social services of the CSN.