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‘It doesn’t fix the problem’: Nurses pan Quebec’s bonus offer, say real issue is mandatory overtime

Sandra Gagnon stated she obtained an excited cellphone name from her mother final week, after Quebec Premier François Legault  stated he would give full-time nurses a $15,000 bonus to maintain them from quitting the general public system.

Gagnon, nonetheless, was much less excited than her mother. The bonus is bittersweet, she stated in a current interview, and it makes her surprise how a lot her well being is value.

“It’s so nice, $15,000, however what would you like me to do with it?” Gagnon stated. “I gained’t have the power and well being to spend it.”

On Sept. 23, Legault unveiled what he referred to as a “mini revolution” within the well being system, saying $1 billion to seduce nurses to remain in a community that’s lacking greater than 4,000 of them.

Learn extra:
‘We want you’: Quebec to surrender to $18K in bonuses to full-time nurses amid vital scarcity

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Full-time nurses within the public system would obtain one-time bonuses of $15,000, as would part-time nurses who swap to full-time work, Legault stated. Nurses who’ve give up the general public health-care community and return full time would get $12,000, whereas full-time nurses in 5 areas which might be hit notably exhausting by shortages would get $18,000, the premier stated.

Many nurses and different health-care staff have been fast to slam the plan on social media, calling Legault’s so-called mini revolution a brief bandage on a problem that requires critical surgical work. The cash is welcome, they stated, but it surely doesn’t resolve the problem of working circumstances, notably the dreaded necessary time beyond regulation that public-sector nurses are subjected to.

Retired nurse Louise Martel says the cash is just not sufficient to deliver her again into the system, as a result of it solely applies to individuals who return full time.

“You can not ask a retired individual to come back again and work full time — it doesn’t make any sense,” Martel, 58, who retired in August, stated in a current interview.

“We’re not going to throw ourselves into the mouth of the wolf.”

Martel, from Baie-Comeau, Que., northeast of Quebec Metropolis, stated when she heard rumours in regards to the authorities’s announcement, she was tempted. She stated she had considered returning a few times per week, realizing how determined hospitals are for workers.

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However she stated when she heard the official announcement — that the bonuses would solely apply to full-time nurses — it felt like a joke.

“I labored as a nurse for 37 years, however actually it was greater than 45 years should you take into consideration time beyond regulation,” Martel stated.

One other drawback with the bonuses is that they’re taxable, she stated, including that near half the promised quantity will go proper again to the federal government. “The bonus ought to be non-taxable — or give us a automobile that’s value $15,000.”


Click to play video: 'Quebec health-care workers say they feel overlooked by government'







Quebec health-care staff say they really feel missed by authorities


Quebec health-care staff say they really feel missed by authorities

Even with the taxes, Gagnon stated she gained’t refuse the additional money.

“Christmas is coming, I’m not going to say, ‘no, maintain your cash,’ but it surely doesn’t repair the issue and that’s what we’ve been asking for therefore lengthy,” Gagnon stated, including that she normally finally ends up working near 60 hours per week at her Montreal-area hospital due to necessary time beyond regulation.

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Gagnon, who has labored as a nurse for 25 years, stated it’s just about unattainable to refuse time beyond regulation, including that the federal government ought to have made fixing that challenge its precedence.

“Nurses ought to have time to deal with sufferers like in the event that they have been their dad and mom, however we are able to’t do it anymore,” Gagnon stated. “Why didn’t the federal government ask us what we would have liked? What we’re lacking?

“There are nurses who know when their shifts begin however can by no means make certain when they’re ending,” Gagnon stated. “It’s not uncommon that I function for 16 or 17 hours with lower than half-hour to eat.”

READ MORE: Quebec nurses want higher working circumstances, in response to report

Quebec’s plan proposes to cut back necessary time beyond regulation, however not get rid of it. Legault stated the monetary incentives have been just one a part of the plan, including that the cash is essential to forestall extra nurses from quitting or shifting to the personal sector.

“Cash gained’t repair all the issues, however we expect it’s going to assist us to curb the employees scarcity within the brief time period,” Legault stated in a press release. “We have now an obligation to succeed with every part you do for us. We owe you that.”

In the meantime, whereas nurses have been getting more cash, different health-care staff stated they felt ignored.

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Shortly after studying of Legault’s supply to nurses, a serious union representing health-care staff similar to medical technicians, stated it halted the voting course of on the federal government’s newest contract supply.

Union interim president Robert Comeau stated the premier’s announcement angered his members, as a result of they have been allegedly instructed by the federal government in June there was no cash left for the general public sector.

“Every thing has modified,” Comeau stated in a current interview, including the members he represents additionally work in sectors dealing with labour shortages. His members work “in the identical rooms” as nurses receiving as much as $18,000 in bonuses, he stated.


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Hundreds of well being staff in Quebec dealing with suspension with out pay for refusing COVID-19 vaccination


Hundreds of well being staff in Quebec dealing with suspension with out pay for refusing COVID-19 vaccination – Sep 16, 2021

Peter Gleeson, a medical imaging technologist in Montreal, stated he and his colleagues are the “eyes of the hospital” and deserve the identical degree of respect as nurses. Gleeson stated he seems like there’s a lack of information among the many public about how intertwined hospital staff are.

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“There’s hardly a prognosis made with out medical imaging of some type,” Gleeson stated in a current interview, including that the supply to the nurses has made him really feel “invisible.”

“There’s a wide range of wants and realities within the health-care community occupation,” Gleeson stated. “It may be an exquisite and gratifying occupation, working as a group, however there’s a variety of frustration that comes with it too.”

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