On behalf of the Executive Committee and the staff of the Federation, I wish all care professionals a happy new year. May 2008 be marked by the values of justice, solidarity and equity.
The priorities of the Federation, in 2008, are the consolidation of union life and the mobilisation of members. Thus, the Federation intends to work to present to union representatives and members an accurate picture of current political and union issues, in particular by keeping a close eye on legislation which has an impact on the health and social services network, analysing the organisational changes in view of privatisation and following the evolution of professional practice pursuant to the implementation of Bill 90. Local teams will continue to receive the needed training, material and support.
In a situation where the government is constantly attacking the public health system, the Federation works to counter the prevailing neoliberal line and defeatism among local teams, members and the public in general. In light of this, the FIQ will strive to convey its views, and produce new popularisation tools on privatization and its impacts. In cooperation with the other organisations of the Secrétariat intersyndical des services publics (SISP), as well as on its own, the Federation will intervene in various public forums, once again this year. In 2008, more than ever, the FIQ will reassert that it has a “strong voice and actions that count.”
Once again this year, in view of encouraging and supporting the mobilisation of union activists in union and interunion activities, and in social actions, the FIQ will participate at the local, regional and Quebec level in the actions and activities organized by the SISP and those of other social groupings such as the Coalition Solidarité Santé and the Réseau de vigilance. To counter the trend to privatisation pushed by the Charest government, the Federation will support unions in local and regional mobilisation activities, and in carrying out their local action plan.
Of course, since the main objective is to defend and promote the social, economic and professional interests of its members, the Federation will pursue its work in view of improving their working conditions. The local teams can count on unwavering support for local negotiations, local arrangements and the incumbency process. In the coming months, one of the major challenges facing the Federation will be the ensure that members’ rights are respected in the application of the local collective agreements.
It goes without saying that the problems related to the shortage of care professionals, compulsory overtime and recourse to private agencies will also be at the heart of the Federation’s concerns in the coming year. In addition, the FIQ is awaiting the report of the Task force on the funding of the health-care system (Castonguay committee) scheduled for February and, since the content is predictable, is preparing to react.
In closing, the Federation is very positive about the coming year. Despite the presence in power of a government which shows bad faith and which is determined to privatize all public services, the Federation is convinced that it will be able to make things evolve in the best interests of its members and the population. The FIQ is full of energy and will use this energy advisedly to ensure that the rights of all are respected.