MUHC employees to demonstrate today - Secret budget cuts maintain the culture of non-transparency that is behind the financial crisis at the anglophone hospital centre

MONTREAL, March 18, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Members of the McGill University Hospital Centre Employees' Union (FSSS-CSN) will demonstrate in front of the Montreal Children's Hospital at noon today to protest the MUHC administration's refusal to share its budget-cutting plan with the anglophone hospital centre's largest union.

According to the Baron report, released by Quebec's health and social services ministry last December, the MUHC is facing a record deficit that could reach $100 million, caused by the deficient management and questionable administration of former director general Arthur Porter, as well as by unforeseen cost increases involved in the construction of the new super hospital at the Glen Yards.

Invited to an "information" session by the MUHC's department of human resources last Thursday, the union's executive committee hit a wall when it tried to ask for details concerning impacts of the cuts on services to patients and affected hospital sectors. The union was only provided already public information: that 200 positions will be eliminated with a budget reduction of $28 million in this year's budget. Other cuts totalling $22 million must be planned for 2014-15.

"We're completely in the dark," said MUHCEU president Paul Thomas. "This is the same secretive attitude that hid Arthur Porter's financial misdoings. It seems that we have not learned anything from this sad story."

The union, for its part, will not take this laying down. The CSN, Mr. Thomas insists, has valuable expertise in workplace organization, and employee representatives at the MUHC must be informed and consulted on how to balance the billion-dollar budget at the hospital centre.

He notes that, with the help of an accounting expert from MCE Conseils, the CSN has already produced a report identifying areas of spending at the MUHC that are far higher than at other Quebec hospital centres, notably where it concerns MUHC management.

"We're facing a financial failure caused by bad management decisions made behind closed doors," concluded Mr. Thomas. "We must change this way of doing things. In refusing to communicate real information about cuts to the MUHC budget, the administration is perpetuating the culture of secrecy and keeping the public and employees in ignorance of what is already a fait accompli. This must change."


For further information:

For information : Lyle Stewart, CSN communications service, 514 796-2066


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