For immediate release
STE. ANNE’S HOSPITAL: THE NEEDS OF CANADA’S VETERANS MUST BE THE PRIORITY
Ottawa, April 27, 2012 – The agreement in principle signed earlier today by the federal and Québec governments regarding the potential transfer of Ste. Anne’s Hospital (SAH) to the province is no guarantee that upcoming negotiations will put the well-being of our nation’s veterans and the rights of employees ahead of fiscal considerations, according to the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC).
In a letter sent to federal Minister of Veterans Affairs Steven Blaney and Québec Minister of Health and Social Services Dr. Yves Bolduc this past March, the Institute, which represents some 250 seasoned and dedicated employees who provide the highest standard of care to the veterans at the hospital, had already expressed concern that the latter’s interests and those of SAH employees were being completely neglected in the negotiations between the two governments’ representatives.
“We have still not received any clear answers to our questions. We were not invited to this afternoon’s meeting with employees. But we are being asked to show blind faith in the employer's words and accept wholeheartedly that the interests of patients and of our members are being fully taken into consideration. While it is understandable that the Québec government would like to acquire the facility and the top-quality professional labour force currently working there, given the shortage lack of nurses and other healthcare professionals in the province, the upcoming negotiations must not be conducted at their expense”, said PIPSC President Gary Corbett.
The governments of Quebec and Canada must treat Ste. Anne’s Hospital bargaining agents and employees as full partners in the discussions on the transfer of this prestigious institution. “It’s the only way to ensure that the needs of our veterans, who have sacrificed so much for our country, take rightful precedence over secondary considerations such as financial or administrative expediency”, concluded Corbett.
The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada is a national union representing some 60,000 professionals and scientists across Canada’s public sector.
For further information: Pierre Villon (613) 228-6310 extension 2228 or (613) 794-9369 (cell)