Angry over impending MUHC job cuts, hospital staffers protest
MONTREAL—The protest was loud on Thursday morning as 250 hospital staffers leaped off a half-dozen buses in front of the Montreal General, angry about impending staff cuts at the McGill health network.
According to the FIQ union for healthcare workers, more protests will be held in the weeks to come.
“The reason we started at the Montreal General Hospital, I’m sure you're aware of it, is that there are allegations of fraud at this institution,” said union executive Roberto Bomba after 40 minutes for chanting.
With the MUHC facing allegations of fraud and bad publicity around the construction of the Glen superhospital, many employees feel they will feel the brunt of poor decisions. The union has confirmed that 38 employees will be fired.
“I'm very frustrated about the cuts, because we have to live with a lot of pressure because of those cuts and it's hard to do our work and take care of patients like we're supposed to do,” said Karine Paiement, a healthcare worker.
The impending layoffs are the result of a $50-million belt-tightening budget from the MUHC and some union officials wondered whether workers won’t be punished for fraud committed by their bosses at the highest levels.
The union insists there are ways to cut the budget without cutting jobs. So far they say they know very little about what will actually happen. The MUHC is also keeping tight-lipped until their cost-cutting measures are approved by the province.
“The government is reviewing that document and we hope to hear back from them so that we can make these plans public as soon as possible,” said public relations manager Ian Popple, who confirmed that job cuts are on the table.
“We have been working with the unions throughout this process and we realize it’s a challenging time for everyone and we want to let everyone know that we are working together,” said Popple.
Unionized representatives have a meeting with the MUHC next week where they say they plan to put pressure on administrators to change the way they're planning to make those cuts.