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
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
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.
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
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.
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
This article was published in
March 8, 2021 - No.