This week, CUPE 4475, the union representing more than 5,000 Category 2 employees of the CIUSSS de l’Estrie-CHUS will hold a series of demonstrations. The first took place on Monday, June 29 at the Lac-Mégantic Hospital; the second, scheduled for Tuesday, June 30 at the Saint-Vincent Pavilion in Sherbrooke; and the third will be on Thursday, July 2 at the Granby Hospital.
The purpose of the events is to remind the public and the members of the Quebec government that the working conditions of employees in the health and social services network must be addressed. Staff shortages have taken their toll in recent years, after which the COVID-19 pandemic made the situation even worse.
The employees are demanding settlements in the pay equity files that have been dragging on for years for beneficiary attendants, sterilization attendants, rehabilitation assistants, health and social service assistants and “senior” pharmacy technical assistants.
They are also demanding, as a first step, the improvement and extension of premiums for workers in CHSLDs, specialized workers and those working with users with serious behavioural problems. They are also asking that those premiums be converted into wage increases.
According to the union, there is a need to improve the working conditions of all Category 2 staff to attract and retain workers, to ultimately improve care and services to the population.
Sherbrooke demonstration, Tuesday, June 30
Gathering in front of the main entrance of the Saint-Vincent pavilion from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Welcome by the MNA for Saint-François Geneviève Hébert (CAQ), who will meet with union representatives at 1 p.m.
Granby, Thursday, July 2
Meeting in the Granby Hospital parking lot from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Walk to the office of the Member of Parliament for Granby François Bonnardel (CAQ) from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Rally in the courtyard of the MP’s office from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. According to the union, MP Bonnardel refused to meet with union representatives.
With close to 122,000 members in Quebec, CUPE represents some 24,700 members in the health and social services sector in the province.