MUHC workers protest budget cuts

Posted By: Shuyee Lee · 2/13/2013 3:37:00 PM

MUHC support staff staged demonstrations outside their respective workplaces during the noon hour today to show their discontent and concern over impending budget cuts they say will impact patient care.

The union representing 4,800 workers including orderlies, laundry employees, medical secretaries, and sterilization staff, said the silence by management is deafening.

"There's no dialogue," said Jeff Begley, president of the Federation of Health and Social Services of the CSN (Confederation of National Trade Unions). He said they have a number of suggestions to help absorb the $115-million budget deficit but so far, no one is listening.

"There's one of the highest ratios of supervisors versus employees in all of Quebec. It's here. Why is that? We think it could be much more efficient if we reduce the ratio," Begley said. He added that they could save millions by reducing the cost of admissions which he says is higher than that of their counterparts at the french-language CHUM.

The union said it believes management is looking to make across-the-board cuts of about $50-million, charging that the cuts are already trickling in: elimination of workers specializing in disinfecting areas contaminated by C. difficile and cutting the time for cleaning offices in half.

Karen, a medical secretary with the MUHC for nearly 12 years, said it's appalling in light of alleged mismanagement making headlines recently.

"I think it's disgusting. I'm glad it's all coming out finally," she said, standing outside the Montreal General Hospital holding a flag bearing the black and white logo of the CSN union, along with about 100 of her colleagues.

"They need to stop cutting our jobs and start cutting from management. We have so many managers in the hospital, more than we have staff, more than we have anything else, and they should be looking at cutting those jobs instead of ours."

Photo/video: Shuyee Lee

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