Workers at Ste. Anne's hospital stage protest
Protesters gathered in front of Ste. Anne de Bellevue hospital to express their concern about a change of management at the hospital.
Starting on Sept. 30, the Quebec government will take over management of the hospital from the federal government, and the unions representing workers at the hospital say they're being kept in the dark about the negotiations between Quebec and Ottawa about the transfer.
"[We want the department of Veteran's Affairs] to provide us with a committee to review exactly what has been going on with negotiations, how it will impact the services to the veterans, what services will be provided to the veterans in October, and what part the employees will have in this," said Kim Coles, National Executive Vice-President for the Union of Veterans Affairs employees.
Coles also expressed her concern with the veterans, some of whom demand specific care.
A union rep with the Syndicat des employé(e)s des Anciens combattants (SEAC), Benoit Frigon, is concerned about the workers' future. "My seniority, my work conditions, will they remain the same? We don't know."
"I would have offered the government 700 feet of Saran Wrap so they know what transparency is," laughed Daniel Allard, Vice-President of the same union.
The Union of Veterans Affairs employees is pushing back and demanding more security for both employees and veterans. They want to be at the negotiation table come this fall when the transfer occurs.
"Basically, what we are asking for is more information," concluded Coles.
Meanwhile, the office of Veteran's Affairs Minister Stephen Blaney issued a statement in response to the protest: “Our Government wants to transfer the hospital to the province of Quebec as soon as possible in order to preserve the quality of care provided to Veterans, as well as to maintain jobs and to allow the province to make the more than 100 beds available to Montrealers.”
Photos and video: Jordan Namur