Quebec promised extra pay for some health-care workers but many still haven't received it
Health authority says the payment of bonuses is 'complex'
Around two dozen orderlies and housekeeping staff at Maimonides Geriatric Centre in Côte Saint-Luc used their Thursday morning break to take to Caldwell Avenue with whistles and signs, demanding the bonuses promised them.
"We put our family, our friends, at risk," said Andrea Osbourne, an orderly.
"We should get what is supposed to be given to us."
In April, Premier François Legault announced health-care employees in both the public and private sector would be getting pay increases, retroactive to March 13. More pay increases were announced in May in an effort to deal with a continuing critical shortage of workers.
Full-time workers in CHSLDs are meant to receive bonuses of up to $1,000 per month.
"We've been working hard throughout COVID and we've been promised this money since May," said Kim Phillips, an orderly at Maimonides who says she is owed almost $3,000.
The regional health authority says the pay is coming.
"The situation regarding the payment of premiums is complex and one that we are in the process of addressing," wrote Barry Morgan, a communications officer with the CIUSSS du Centre-Ouest-de-l'Île-de-Montréal.
"The issue is being worked on as a priority and should be resolved by the next pay, if not sooner."
Bonus pay problems not limited to Maimonides
Stephen Brown, a representative with the Canadian Union of Public Employees, says while most employees of the CIUSSS de l'Ouest-de-l'Île-de-Montréal have managed to receive their bonuses, some are still waiting.
"The government recognized that people in the health care system are dealing with an inordinate amount of a stress ," said Brown.
"In return, they were promised a certain amount of compensation. When you promise people compensation and you don't deliver, it really does create frustration and those frustrations bred in to resentments."
The CIUSSS de l'Ouest-de-l'Île-de-Montréal says it has processed the bonuses for the majority of its 3,300 employees who qualified for them but says a few delays are due to pay-period deadlines and manual corrections.
"In the case of questions or errors, all employees are invited to speak with their manager or send an email to human resources to get an explanation or to apply for corrections as soon as possible," Ariadne Bourbonnière, a media relations officer with CIUSSS, wrote in an email reply.
Brown says the process of handing out bonuses was made complicated and has resulted in the delays.
"Yeah, I think in this case, there's an issue with the bureaucracy but it's not just the bureaucracy," he said.
"It's that the government didn't check with their bureaucrats to see what can we actually do to actually get this done."