Health care technicians and professionals made plenty of sacrifices in the past two years, and now they’re being asked to give up their planned vacations in order to fill in the gaps for a depleted network, adding more stress to an already exhausted workforce.
On Thursday, members of the Alliance du personnel professionnel et technique de la santé et des services sociaux (APTS) gathered outside Saint-François MNA Geneviève Hébert’s office in Sherbrooke to denounce poor working conditions, heavy workloads, and a lack of respect.
APTS 1st Vice-President Josée Fréchette told The Record that union members feel invisible. There’s a labour shortage, and the CIUSSS de l’Estrie-CHUS is anticipating an influx of patients as Quebec lifts its pandemic measures, she explained, so it’s all hands on deck.
“People are leaving […] and to give some services to the population, we need to keep some people at work, so the best way they found is forcing people to cancel vacations, and to do overtime instead of giving better working conditions,” Fréchette said in a phone interview.
The local health authority has limited the amount of employees that can take vacation at the same time. They are trying to spread it out as much as possible throughout the summer to avoid swamping certain departments and sectors in the health and social services network.