‘Unlivable working conditions’: survey shows orderlies unsatisfied with work environment

Quebec Orderlies chant as they held a forum to look over solutions to better their working conditions. Brayden Jagger Haines

The majority of orderlies — 74 per cent — suffer from high levels of psychological distress.

That’s according to a recent survey conducted by the Quebec union representing health workers.

The Fédération de la Santé et des Services Sociaux – CSN has unveiled the results of a survey that polled 8,500 orderlies, representing roughly 20 per cent of workers across the province.

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The damning report showed what many health care workers in Quebec have been saying for years, CSN Health and Social Services president Jeff Begley said.

Workers from the CHSLD, hospitals and mental health centres answered a questionnaire of over a hundred questions.

The results showed that 40 per cent of respondents say they have worked forced overtime hours in the last year, and 75 per cent say their loaded work schedule does not allow them enough time to give patients a daily bath.

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A baffling 95 per cent say they have been exposed to a form of violence in the workplace.

Manon Dion says that, although uncommon at the Heart Institute where she works, violence does happen.

Frédérique Savard, who works alongside Dion, has been on the receiving end of violence from patients before.

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“Oh yeah, all the time — all forms of violence from patients every day,” Savard said.

Dion says she and her colleagues are overworked and underpaid. She says patient care falls by the wayside at times as she does not have enough time to help.

For Savard, the results of the survey have given her insight and also comfort as she sees others are also experiencing the same issues.

“I felt like I was not alone. I feel that the numbers are very representative of what the situation is at the current moment,”Savard said.

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A large group of orderlies held a forum Sunday to go over the results of the survey and to find solutions to the issues they face.

Union representatives are hoping that the results of the survey will help light a fire under the feet of the health minister.

“We want the minister to make this a priority to improve the situation,” Begley said.

Health Minister Danielle McCann did not respond to requests for comment by Global News.

McCann has promised in the past that it’s her priority is to put an end to mandatory overtime by the end of the CAQ’s first mandate.

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An estimated 500 orderlies are expected to gather in the street in front of Centre de réadaptation Marie Enfant on June 6 to voice their frustration with the current working conditions.


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