Long-term care orderlies in Quebec say they feel like they’ve been conned.
They say they are not getting paid what they have been promised, even though the government has made numerous public assurances.
Thursday was payday for hundreds of recently-hired long-term care orderlies, who have now joined a Facebook group to try and get some answers about their salary.
“We feel like we’ve been tricked,” said Marc-Antoine Béland, an orderly at a long-term care facility (CHSLD) in Quebec City.
This summer, the government launched a massive recruitment campaign to hire 10,000 more orderlies to work in long-term care homes. Premier François Legault said they are absolutely essential to ward off another wave of COVID-19 deaths and he promised them $26 an hour.
“If you want to make a real difference in the lives or our elderly, please join us. We need you,” Legault said during a press conference on June 2.
“And we’re talking about a yearly salary of $49,000.”
“He said it a few times on TV, so I mean we thought we could trust him,” Béland said.
However, Béland said he and his colleagues are only making just over $20 an hour. He said they are supposed to receive premiums to top up their salaries, but even something like calling in sick could make them ineligible.
“Because of the complexity of the whole system, with three different salary bonuses, it’s very insecure for them,” said Liberal MNA Monique Sauvé.
They are also obliged to work for at least a year or they’ll have to pay the government back $9,000 for their training.
“They will receive the amount that’s committed to them,” said Health Minister Christian Dubé.
“I’ll be very direct: we are in negotiation. When those negotiations are finished, people will put this behind them. But we will deliver the commitment that they will receive $26 an hour,” Dubé said.
However, the FSSS-CSN union said there is nothing standing in the way of the government fulfilling its promise.
“This is something the government has imposed. They haven’t negotiated that with us and we’re not holding up anything,” said Jeff Begley, FSSS-CSN president.
Béland and other orderlies say they’ve lost hope they’ll receive the salary they were promised.
“I’m pretty certain we’re never going to get $26 an hour. I’m pretty certain of it,” he said.
View link »