The Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec – FIQ submitted its sectoral demands today with a view to renewing the collective agreement for its 76,000 healthcare professionals. “The nurses’, licensed practical nurses’, respiratory therapists’ and clinical perfusionists’ demands are clear: they want to see fast and significant improvement to their working conditions, to protect their well-being and that of their patients. The clock is ticking and the situation demands urgent action. The Quebec government needs to step up and restore optimal working conditions to healthcare professionals, in particular by giving them a reasonable, safe workload and eliminating mandatory overtime. The Federation is waging this battle not only for healthcare professionals, but to ensure that the public receives safe, quality care,” said FIQ President Nancy Bédard.
Solutions that match the scale of the problems
The member consultation that led to the sectoral demands leaves no shadow of a doubt as to how crucial it is to restore healthcare professionals’ trust in the future. “Healthcare professionals have never been this discouraged with the health network, which is falling apart. They are exhausted, overloaded, and thinking of leaving or are already leaving their profession,” continued Ms. Bédard. The consultation the FIQ conducted allowed it to measure the danger to the health network if these working conditions continue. “Healthcare professionals are extremely fragile right now. They have clearly told us how much they would like to be able to practice their profession in a better system than this one–those under 30 years of age, in the prime of their lives and nearing retirement. The government needs to use these negotiations to give healthcare professionals new hope and put a stop to this hemorrhaging once and for all!” explained the union spokesperson.
The FIQ will propose several actions to the government to achieve these objectives. “Healthcare professionals who can exercise all of their skills, in fully staffed, stable work teams, with safe healthcare professional-to-patient ratios–these are the fundamentals that will guide us throughout these negotiations,” said the president.
The Federation’s sectoral demands revolve around two priorities. For the union spokesperson, while the priority of obtaining optimal conditions to promote the recruitment and retention of staff is essential in the current context, the priority of health and safety at all levels of the network accurately reflects the dangers healthcare professionals and patients are exposed to. “It is crucial to restore professional practice that guarantees everyone health and safety at all levels, in terms of patient care, professional and personal integrity, as well as physical, psychological, organizational and interpersonal health.”
Among the Federation’s objectives for the upcoming negotiations, it focus extra energy on:
- Organizing work to protect healthcare professionals’ and patients’ health and safety;
- Enhancing healthcare professionals’ practice and expertise;
- Facilitating access to quality positions;
- Restoring work and personal life balance to preserve healthcare professionals’ mental health.