Employees denounce dangerous conditions in a retirement home

Employees of the private seniors’ residence Chartwell Bois-de-Boulogne in Montreal strongly denounce the deplorable living conditions in which the residents find themselves due in particular to the dire shortage of staff.

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Poor basic care, neglected housekeeping, residents forced to sleep with a soiled diaper, a shortage of staff become dangerous; these are the allegations supported by employees of the Chartwell residence who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals against them.

These employees met by TVA Nouvelles are calling for nothing less than the holding of an independent investigation in light of this worrying situation.

The latter even claim that the management of the establishment is trying to hide cases of COVID-19 contamination, which the establishment strongly denies.

“There are no suspected or proven cases of COVID-19 at the Chartwell Bois-de-Boulogne residence as can be confirmed by public health authorities,” said the management of the residence on Wednesday evening.

During an interview with TVA Nouvelles, one of the employees implored the government to come and visit the residence so that “they could see for themselves the state of emergency”.

“It’s dangerous. I have my mother, I have my grandmother, I have aunts. I never wanted them to live in such conditions, ”laments another employee.

The Quebec union of service employees (SQEES), affiliated with the FTQ, deplores that the residents of the Chartwell Bois-de-Boulogne residence “bear the brunt of the staff shortage”.

“It is irresponsible that an employer cannot provide a service that upholds the dignity of its residents. (…) Employers, if not the public authorities, must ensure that the working conditions and wages of these often immigrant women are greatly improved. Otherwise, they will work elsewhere and the labor shortage will worsen, ”read a statement from the union.

In a retweet from our TVA Nouvelles journalist, the Minister responsible for Seniors and Caregivers Marguerite Blais reacted to the allegations of these employees by adding to be in contact with the CIUSS and the establishment in question.

“I take the complaints from the staff of this private residence very seriously. (…) I will never repeat it enough: it is ZERO TOLERANCE in the face of the mistreatment of our elders, ”the Minister tweeted on Wednesday evening.

As for the residence in question, it is ensured that the management relies on the necessary staff to offer “to its residents the services and care that meet their needs, including the sufficient number of resident attendants to ensure the day shifts and by night.”

“Please note that we are currently in negotiations with the union representing our employees, which is campaigning to discredit their employer,” read the statement by Marie-France Lemay, vice-president of operations and sales at Chartwell.

Management says it is in negotiations with union representatives regarding the renewal of the employees’ collective agreement to “reach a mutually satisfactory agreement.”

The salary for housekeeping at the Chartwell Bois-de-Boulogne residence is $ 13.10 an hour, while a beneficiary attendant is hired with a salary of $ 14.24, adds the union. .

Chartwell is the largest owner and manager of retirement homes in Canada and currently owns 181 properties.

-With information from Andy St-André

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