“They are an exploited and underpaid workforce,” Sylvie Nelson said of staff working in long-term care facilities in the private sector.
According to Sylvie Nelson, it is more lucrative to work in a fast food restaurant than to work in the healthcare sector treating the elderly.
“When it is better to turn hamburgers than to provide care or services, I think we have some questions that we should ask ourselves,” said Nelson, president of the Syndicat québécois des Employées et Employés de service, to the forensic investigation when examining the deaths in care centers. long term Tuesday.
The investigation, led by Géhane Kamel, is examining the deaths that occurred during the first wave of COVID-19.
Nelson said there are many problems with long-term care facilities in the private sector.
“They are an exploited and underpaid workforce,” he said of the staff who work at these centers, adding that the owners charge residents for each service at exorbitant costs.
Only 28 percent of Nelson’s members work full time and some of them only earn minimum wage.
As a result, many have two jobs, and that allowed workers to become important vectors of the virus that allowed it to spread widely in the centers.
Nelson said he believes the province should impose working conditions and adequate pay at all long-term private facilities.
Also speaking on Tuesday, Philippe Crevier, a special councilor for the union, said that COVID was an avoidable disaster.
“After studying the SARS crisis in 2003, we had everything we needed to improve, but we did not learn the lessons of the past.”
He rebuked the Institut national de santé publique du Québec for prohibiting healthcare workers from wearing N95 masks in nursing homes, except in rare cases.
INSPQ officials will speak about the investigation on Wednesday, and on Thursday Horacio Arruda, Quebec’s director of public health, will be present.
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