Emergency room nurses at the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital (MRH) have made it clear: either the head of their unit resigns or they will.
About 90 per cent of the 110 workers on the team had signed a petition by Friday afternoon, with the ultimatum set for next Wednesday.
"We criticize [our unit head] for not having put in place anything since his arrival to try to retain his staff," the petition, viewed by Radio-Canada, reads.
"His lack of support, listening and empathy toward the team contributes to generating a toxic atmosphere and inhumane working conditions."
In place since July 2022, the head of the emergency department previously held a similar position in another hospital in the Montreal area.
"[We] demand the immediate resignation of our unit head [...] otherwise we will submit our own resignations," the petition says.
The union members' move isn't surprising to Denis Cloutier, president of the local union, the Syndicat des professionnelles en soins de l'Est-de-l'Île-de-Montréal.
"The frequency with which emergency care professionals at MRH are forced to work mandatory overtime is inhumane and constitutes a real abuse of management," said Cloutier.
According to him, first-level managers who are responsible for implementing [mandatory overtime] often use threats and intimidation to get their way.
A spokesperson for the local health agency, the CIUSSS de l'Est-de-l'Île-de-Montréal, refused to comment on the petition.
When asked earlier this week about the east-end hospital, Health Minister Christian Dubé said it was one of the most difficult institutions in which to implement measures.
He said he has questioned the CEO of the CIUSSS, Jean-François Fortin Verreault, on the matter.
"Why are there about 30 hospitals that have managed to implement local schedule management? I asked Mr. Fortin [for explanations], I will ask the unions," said Dubé.
Meanwhile, Radio-Canada recently reported the Quebec government had scrapped a pilot project to reduce mandatory overtime at Maisonneuve-Rosemont.
The hospital, one of the most aged and dilapidated in Quebec, has been struggling to recruit staff, particularly in the emergency department.
Its stretcher occupancy rates have ranged from 94 per cent to 141 per cent over the past week.