Marjolaine Aubé, President of the Union of Workers at the Integrated Health and Social Services Centre of Laval (CISSS de Laval-CSN)

In the health network, more than three-quarters of employees are women. We're the ones holding up the health care system against all odds. We treat our patients like our families, but we want to be treated properly too. Just in terms of wages, there hasn't been progress in about 20 years. We are not even keeping up with the cost of living. Women make up the majority of low wage earners in the health care system. Yet, working in the health care system requires devotion. You really have to take it to heart. If you take my CISSS, we cover all aspects of the health network, called missions. 

We take care of everyone from the time one is in the mother's womb to the end of their lives. We work in the family-child/youth mission, the hospital mission, the youth center mission, the mission for autistic patients with the rehabilitation centre for people with intellectual disabilities (CRDI), the rehabilitation mission with the Jewish Rehabilitation Hospital, the residential and long-term care centres (CHSLDs), the local community service centres and all the home care services, and more. All segments of society are represented and it is mostly women who take care of them.

I think that what we do is no longer valued. When I started in the network 34 years ago, my position was respected. Everyone envied me. I had a good wage and good working conditions. In all these years, I have not even had a ten dollar raise. I look at my co-workers and so many of them are single mothers. I myself raised two children without alimony, only with one single wage.

We have to start recognizing women's work, give them good conditions, a good wage so that we can continue to take care of all the people who are part of the population and who are like members of our family.

(Photo: CSN)

This article was published in

March 8, 2021 - No. 14

Article Link:


Website:   Email: