Nurses work nearly 70 hours a week for a year

After a request for information, we were able to obtain the salaries of the 10 highest paid nurses in Abitibi-Témiscamingue in 2021.

Two of them pocketed nearly $200,000 or $196,000 in 2021. For comparison, the annual salary of the President and CEO of CISSS-AT is $198,000.

The 10 highest paid nurses in Abitibi-Témiscamingue


Over time

working hours

gross salary

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What is impressive about this statistic is the number of hours worked.

The highest-paid nurse worked a total of 3,418 hours in 2021, of which 1,412 were overtime, equivalent to 66 hours a week for a full year.

The people earning these salaries worked almost double the hours expected in their jobs. These are people who sometimes even slept at their workplace in order to be able to maintain services. »

A quote from Jean-Sébastien Blais, President of the Abitibi-Témiscamingue Interprofessional Health Association

The caregiver in the region who worked the most in 2021 is a nursing assistant. Her base salary is $43,800, but she ended up making $165,000. To achieve this, she worked a total of 3,543 hours, or the equivalent of 68 hours per week, for 52 consecutive weeks.

As the years go by, we have to work overtime, and this has perverse implications, because going so many hours without getting sick always ends up catching up with our health workers.stresses the union president.

Jean-Sébastien Blais, President of the Abitibi-Témiscamingue Interprofessional Health Federation (FIQ-SISSAT).

Photo: Radio Canada / Andrei Audet

For comparison

To give an idea of ​​the difference in work, take for example an employee who takes two weeks vacation and works 37.5 hours a week or 50 weeks for the rest of the year. He will have worked 1,875 hours a year, little more than half the hours these nurses put in.

Those are significant increases from 2020. The highest-paid nurse had pocketed $182,000, and only one nurse had worked more than 3,000 hours.

It’s really not human to think that we can go on like this for many years to come, and it’s clear that these people will eventually overexert themselves and end up on sick leave. You cannot stretch the rubber band for many years. […] To be honest, doing it all year round is extremely dangerous. We make our members very aware that they can listen to each other and say no at some pointadds Jean-Sébastien Blais, specifying that in the case of these two nurses, most of the overtime should be voluntary.

Enforce maximum working hours?

According to the union, studies show that after two or three shifts of 16 consecutive hours, nurses are at greater risk of making mistakes.

Jean-Sébastien Blais therefore believes that employers are taking risks by allowing nurses to work in this way.

“Of course, maybe there should be something to mark that. Think in particular of truckers who have black books, then they must stop after a certain number of hours. There is no maximum for our healthcare professionals. How could we legislate? How many hours is it possible to work in a week while providing quality service? I think that’s going to be a pretty difficult question because everyone has different limits,” said Jean-Sébastien Blais.

Premiums increased in 2021

According to the union, nurses’ salaries are also particularly high this year due to numerous state bonuses.

Nurses received bonuses ranging from $19,000 to $57,000 in 2021. For comparison, in 2019 bonuses ranged from $6,000 to $28,000.

For the coming year, the union anticipates some decline as many bonuses have been or will be axed shortly.

This year is also a special year with the Dubé Plan bonuses and double-rate overtime set for much of the year. So we see that all of this is also impermanentsays Jean-Sebastien Blais.

Darren Pena

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