St. Boniface Hospital support staff in crisis: union

The union representing health-care support staff at St. Boniface Hospital says staff is struggling with the workload and the province needs to step in and help.

Between November 1-December 10, 29 heavy workload forms were submitted by St. Boniface support staff. This is when staff members submit an incident to the union and the union contacts the employer to address the situation.

Staff in these departments say that they are working short 95 per cent of the time, resulting in patients missing appointments, delays getting patients into operating rooms, and inability to perform reminder calls to patients for their appointments.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg. Staff are burnt-out, morale is at an all-time low, and to top it off they haven’t had a new contract for five years,” said CUPE Local 204 president Debbie Boissonneault.

“Health care support staff have been on the front-lines of this pandemic since day one, but the current state of our hospitals and care homes is unsustainable.”

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The union says one example includes a health care aide who says he was the only aide in a 31-patient ward, and says he didn’t even have time “to give 85 per cent of the patients fresh water.”

The union, along with others representing support staff from around the province, requested an urgent meeting with Manitoba’s Minister of Health and Seniors Care Audrey Gordon on Dec.6, but they have yet to hear back.

“From admitting to discharge, patient care is suffering, and it is the government’s responsibility to fix this now,” Boissonneault said.

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