Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)
Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU)

Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU)

November 18, 2016 11:27 ET

Demoralized, bullied staff say "culture of fear" at Montfort Renaissance warrants scrutiny in hospital accreditation review

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Nov. 18, 2016) - Staff at Ottawa's Montfort Renaissance who fear being targeted by management if they raise concerns say, that a provincial accreditation review of the agency taking place now, must include scrutiny of the "culture of fear" and toxic environment in the workplace.

Tensions between the management and front line staff at Ottawa's Montfort Renaissance escalating for years, came to a head recently when three union officials were fired for attempting to raise workers' concerns about the management of the agency.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 4721 which represents about 100 of the Montfort Renaissance staff recently conducted a poll asking about workplace morale, other related labour/management issues and the impacts on services, care and supports.

Only 23 per cent of respondents say they trust the agency management and over 78 per cent (that's nearly 8 out of 10) are worried about being targeted by management if they raise concerns. 30 per cent say they have been bullied or harassed by Montfort Renaissance managers. Only 26 per cent feel comfortable raising concerns with management. 17 per cent say the workplace environment is healthy.

"This dynamic is soul-destroying for workers who do very difficult work supporting vulnerable individuals. Many staff don't believe management is taking the agency in the right direction and there is little confidence in the leadership. Workers say they are not treated with respect and morale at the agency is at an all-time low. All these are issues that the accreditation review should investigate," says CUPE 4721 president Laurin Levesque.

Montfort Renaissance offers integrated mental health and addiction services as well as housing services to vulnerable individuals. Polling results show that only 13 per cent say staff morale is good and 61 per cent of staff think the quality of service to clients is affected by low staff morale.

"All the indicators point to a toxic work environment that we would argue is creating an untenable situation for staff. They feel demeaned, demoralized and anxious. The firing of their colleagues who were acting on their behalf to make the workplace a less threatening place for them, has created a culture of fear and a profound distrust of management. We urge the province to intervene to remedy this situation," says Michael Hurley the president of CUPE's Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU).

Contact Information

  • Michael Hurley
    president OCHU/CUPE

    Laurin Levesque
    president of CUPE 4721

    Stella Yeadon
    CUPE Communication