Montreal's Le Journal de Montreal, published a story yesterday sensationalizing the fact that senior executives of the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (destined to become Quebec's largest and most important 'Super' hospital) shared over a million dollars in bonus money.
The story complained that these executives were getting bonus' of up to forty thousand dollars over and above their salaries which ranged up to $170,000, with the inference that they didn't deserve the money.
The story was full of contradictions and was meant to feed upon the public's perception that senior employees of government agencies are living high off the hog at public expense.
Recent revelations about golden parachutes for incompetent managers (Henri-Paul Rouseau, Jean-Guy Chaput) has the public sensitive to these type of allegations.
The story was quite overblown, but contained a stunning revelation that was treated as an aside by the reporter.
A spokesman for the hospital, Lucie Dufresne, defended the payments by saying that senior management were forced into working long hours because of staff shortages and deserved the bonus' for the overtime that they put in.
She went on to say that some of these senior members of management worked up to 59 hours a week despite a contract that called for a 35 hour work week.
A 35 hour work week for the boss of Quebec's most important hospital!
Are they insane!
Who wrote the contract???
If this is par for the course in government (and it is), it's no wonder productivity in Quebec is so low.
I can assure you, that there aren't many private companies that offer a 35 hour work week to their CEO or senior employees.
Now I understand why our hospitals don't work- the employees don't have to!
When my son, a newly minted doctor went to work as a resident in a Montreal area hospital, I was shocked to hear that as a rookie, he was able to take off up to seven weeks a year in personal time. He told me that if he availed himself of all the time off that he was entitled to, he wouldn't be eligible to work in the U.S., as his credentials wouldn't be accepted. Imagine that!
Comparing productivity with the other provinces and US states, Quebec ranks 47th out of 60. Alberta rates 1st out of 60.
Small and medium-sized firms based in Quebec are 23 per cent less productive than those based in Ontario, 35 per cent less productive than comparable American firms.) Arghhh!!
Here's an excellent article about the problem entitled Work vs. Joie de Vivre, the Painful truth in Quebec.
Choosing the good life over hard work is a lifestyle choice that can be justified if one accepts the trade-off of a reduced standard of living.
Less work=Less money.
It's something that the Quebec government has imposed on us all.
I wonder if there was ever a legitimate debate about it?