While a major crisis is shaking health care institutions across Quebec, negotiations between the FIQ–Syndicat des professionnelles en soins de Chaudière-Appalaches and the Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux (CISSS) de Chaudière-Appalaches have reached an impasse. During a special assembly on March 27, the union presented a breakdown of the most recent employer offers to the members at the Lévis Convention Centre—offers that were deemed insulting off the bat. Members reacted strongly and unanimously adopted an action plan.
“Nearly 1,100 healthcare professionals attended the assembly on Tuesday. That’s unprecedented! Our members’ anger has reached an all-time high. Mobilization has never been stronger and healthcare professionals are ready to fight for their working conditions,” said Laurier Ouellet, President of the FIQ union in Chaudière-Appalaches.
While Minister Barrette recently claimed to have sent a clear message to institution management concerning healthcare professionals’ working conditions, it appears as though Chaudière-Appalaches management has decided to turn a deaf ear.
“The employer’s offer is simply unacceptable. There’s a refusal to budge on staff flexibility and mobility. The employer wants our members to work just about anywhere within the territory, regardless of the centres of activity where they normally work, or how far they will have to travel. It’s completely absurd!” said Carole Mercier, Vice-President for the union’s northern section. The Chaudière-Appalaches territory extends from L’Islet to Thetford-Mines and goes through Les Etchemins, Lévis and Beauce.
Measures in the action plan adopted by the healthcare professionals at Chaudière-Appalaches include wearing stickers, black clothing and fluorescent string. “Our members will also keep a toothbrush with them. It’s a powerful symbol of how mandatory overtime affects their lives. Once at work, they never know when they will be able to go home!” said Ms. Mercier.