Joliette Nurses Fired | Seems wrong in context

Sylvie Bellemare spoke out Joyce’s name and the penalty fell: dismissal. Death Penalty in Labor Law. The CISSS de Lanaudière had nothing to do with the nurse’s intentions or her impeccable career – in short, the circumstances under which the name of Joyce, the youngest martyr of the Atikamekw nation, had been uttered. Racism was zero tolerance.

Posted at 5:00 am

The CISSS accused its staff of racism. In March 2021, Sylvie Bellemare invited a patient, Jocelyne Ottawa, to sing in Atikamekw. She had asked him if his name was Joyce in his community. It looked bad. Quiet.

So zero tolerance. The efforts of M.me Bellemare integrates Mme Ottawa to the caring to show her interest, his attempts to make her laugh, the training she had done 12 days earlier mentioning common nicknames among locals…none of it mattered.

It was necessary to calm things down, to placate the media and the politicians. The internal investigation was hasty, not to say sloppy. The sanction had already been decided before Mr.me Bellemare and her colleague Julie Duchemin are hit. The order was clear: if the words were spoken, the nurses were to be fired immediately. The context doesn’t matter.

However, it was just an awkwardness. A big mistake by Sylvie Bellemare. Even the CISSS de Lanaudière admits that today.

But that doesn’t change anything, CISSS lawyer François-Nicolas Fleury argued before an arbitral tribunal on May 26. Even without intent to harm, guilt was heavy. The lack of judgement, abysmal. And the termination, justified. “It’s just too big to excuse. It’s unforgivable. »

In absolute terms, perhaps we could have excused the sister’s clumsiness. But according to CISSS, one would have to … consider the circumstances. “The context changes the game completely,” emphasized Me Fleury before referee Dominique-Anne Roy, who must decide whether the dismissal of Mme Bellemare was abusive.

The context in question, of course, is the crisis caused by the death of Joyce Echaquan at Joliette Hospital six months earlier. The CISSS barely recovered from this tragedy, which made them look very bad. He had made great efforts to restore the bridges to the Atikamekw community in Manawan.

And then another scandal broke out. The establishment plunged into another crisis. His reputation is once again in tatters.

It was therefore fully justified for CISSS to dismiss Sylvie Bellemare due to the broader context in which her words were spoken.

Paradox: the same CISSS at the time of dismissal completely ignored the circumstances in which the nurse said what she said …

There is no such thing as zero tolerance in employment law. Nor does it exist in the nurses’ code of ethics. This is nowhere to be found in the “Mission and Values” of the CISSS de Lanaudière. This virtuous intolerance that suffers no nuances is a formula, a political response to a problem left to rot.

“I’m always amazed at how tall and straight a nurse has to be. In this case, it borders on hypocrisy,” argued Federation of Nurses of Quebec attorney Alexandre Grenier.

Need we remind you that former CISSS CEO Daniel Castonguay was fired after claiming he was unaware of the issues of racism at Joliette Hospital?

How can the establishment now demand absolute perfection from its employees after decades of shamefully neglecting its duties to the locals?

How not to conclude that the CISSS sacrificed two nurses in hopes of protecting their reputation and forgetting their past mistakes?

Of course a union defends its members. It’s his job. But in the Joyce Echaquan case, the union didn’t step in. He didn’t have to defend the untenable.

It’s different this time. The dismissal of Sylvie Bellemare and Julie Duchemin caused shock waves. In Joliette, doctors and nurses took up pen to highlight the professionalism and dedication of their colleagues. And worrying about the widening gap between the nursing staff and the locals.

Paradoxically again, CISSS hastily fired two nurses to prevent the bridges rebuilt after Joyce Echaquan’s death from collapsing again. However, these layoffs have weakened the structure. Because of these extreme penalties, many caregivers are afraid to treat Atikamekw. They are afraid of losing their job because of a mispronounced word.

One last thing and last but not least: did we really listen to Jocelyne Ottawa in this affair? In front of the referee, she confided her regrets at writing four or five lines on Facebook. Bitterly, she said her story was picked up by others. The situation completely escaped him.

Jocelyne Ottawa wants the two nurses to return to work. The CISSS contends that it is not up to them to decide on the sanction imposed on their employees. She has nothing to say, nothing to do with it. Technically, the CISSS is right. But how should I say…

That also seems wrong in the context.

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