Urgences-santé office employees on 48-hour strike

Urgences-santé’s 110 office employees are on a two-day strike as of Wednesday night.

They’re protesting what they call the unwillingness of their employer to reach a new collective agreement since the old one expired almost three years ago.

Management’s salary offer is less than in the rest of the health network and by government bodies, their union president, Martin Joly, said in an interview with Presse canadienne.

Their colleagues who dispatch emergency calls will not be joining the striking workers since their work is considered an essential service.

As a result, the public will not notice a difference when they phone 911, Joly said.

The striking workers are also demanding solutions to the “extreme psychological distress” of those who dispatch calls, among whom the turnover rate is high. They’re seeking rest areas and more full-time positions.

“They’re sponges,” Joly said. “They receive calls from people in Montreal and Laval who are in distress. They work short-staffed practically every day and there are often mandatory overtime hours. They’re exhausted.”