FIQ (Fédération Interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec)

Yet another year is drawing to an end!

2007 is drawing to an end and, implicitly, it is the time to
stop and look back at the year that has just passed. Clearly,
throughout the year, the Quebec government has launched an unwavering
attack on the health-care system, with its Policy on prescription
drugs
, its insistence on implementing a two-tiered system
and other measures aimed at dividing care professionals. In spite
of this difficult context, looking back, the Federation can be
proud of the work accomplished and gains obtained in the course
of the past twelve months.

Throughout the year, the major part of our work focused on the
local negotiations. Although employers have often showed bad
faith and tried to do away with many of the gains of care professionals,
the majority of the local teams concluded satisfactory agreements.
In the coming months, one of the major challenges with which
the Federation will be faced will be the enforcement of these
agreements.

A few weeks ago, Ministre Couillard finally set up a consensus-building
table on the workforce shortage in the health and social services,
with the mandate to resolve the problems related to overtime
and recourse to private agencies. Despite considerable scepticism
as to the results which can be expected from this action, the
FIQ is present on one of its sub-committees. It is mandatory
that solutions be found to the rank shortage of care professionals
and the Federation will put all its energy at doing this.

Since the FIQ has joined the Secrétariat intersyndical
des services publics
(SISP), various information and mobilisation
actions were organized in the defence of public services. The
SISP quickly carved an important place for itself on the Quebec
political and labour scene, but there is still a lot of work
to be done to counter the wind of privatization which is blowing
more and more strongly. Thus, the SISP will keep a close eye
on the report from the Task force on the funding of the health-care
system (Castonguay) which is expected for February 2008. Other
actions are also in the works, in particular an awareness-raising
operation among the population and the delivery of the signed
postcards by thousands of people in the context of the campaign “Public
health care, I support it!”

Last March, the International Labour Office (ILO) gave right
to the Federation which had filed a complaint against the Quebec
government, in 2006, following the adoption of the decree (Bill
142) imposed by the Charest government. On the strength of its
recent victory in front of the Superior Court of Quebec which
declared Bill 30 — forcing the mergers of bargaining units in
the health and social services network and changing the process
of negotiation by decentralizing 26 matters — to be unconstitutional,
the FIQ hopes that Bill 142 will meet with the same verdict.
It therefore continues to exert pressure in order that the Quebec
government revise its positions and stop attacking the rights
of government employees.

Recently, the Federation proudly signed an agreement with the
government regarding the evaluation of the Nurse clinician job
title. Professionals with one of these job titles will henceforth
receive a higher salary, in recognition of their university training
and their role.

The year 2007 was an extremely busy, but ever so stimulating,
year for the Federation which is now 20 years old. 2008 will
bring along a series of new challenges which the FIQ will shoulder
on behalf of its 57,000 members.

May the holiday season be one of joy and happiness!

In solidarity ,