After several days of discussions, the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec – FIQ is pleased to have pushed the government to agree on specific measures to ensure the safety of the healthcare professionals at the heart of the offensive against the COVID-10 pandemic.
“Actions speak louder than words. This evening, the government formally committed to pregnant women no longer working in care settings and that all standards on the use of personal protective equipment are to be respected”, stated the president of the FIQ, Nancy Bédard.
In addition to these announced measures a few days ago, the agreement reached this evening stipulates:
- That professionals with immunosuppressed systems or over age 70 who cannot be reassigned will be paid as if they were at work
- That uniforms will be supplied and maintained by the employer in the priority sectors, including emergency, medicine-surgery, intensive care, respiratory therapy, imaging, pulmonology, clinics and units dedicated to COVID-19, CHSLDs with an outbreak of COVID-19, and during transfers between institutions
- That all employees working overtime are paid a meal allowance of $15
- That all employees working overtime on evenings, nights and weekends will be paid a $30 daycare allowance.
This agreement is for six months and may be extended.
“The government realized that protecting those at the heart of the offensive against the illness was fundamental. It’s a matter of the health and safety of healthcare professionals, but also that of their patients and members of their families”, praised Ms. Bédard.
The FIQ now hopes that these measures will be applied quickly throughout the network so that no one is left behind. The FIQ affiliated unions will be the watchdogs over these measures.
Recognize the healthcare professionals’ exceptional contribution during this crisis
The FIQ will return to the bargaining table shortly to continue the negotiations on an additional remuneration for all healthcare professionals to compensate for the stress and potential risks from the virus.
Moreover, an additional premium, like the critical care premium in the collective agreement, must be given to all healthcare professionals giving or likely to give care to patients with COVID-19, for the duration of the pandemic.
“This crisis is an opportunity to tell our members, who are a vast majority of women, that their work deserves recognition commensurate with their skills. Being a vocation is over. It is now 2020.”
Maintain the premiums
The government also confirmed that the premiums in the collective agreement that end today will be renewed for six months, like the FIQ had demanded. The healthcare professionals working in CHSLDs or with people with serious behaviour disorders will keep the lump sums to which they were entitled.
Unfailing support from the population
The FIQ gives heartfelt thanks to all Quebecers, who every day, express their unfailing support for the healthcare professionals. “Providing quality, safe care is at the heart of our mission. Our organization has always defended the patients’ interests and will continue to do so”, promised Ms. Bédard.
“The crisis we are in makes us realize the importance of a strong healthcare system. The government has to send a clear signal that they will continue to act to ensure longevity. We must avoid setbacks at all costs and improve working conditions to attract and retain personnel, so the network quickly recovers from this crisis and has the resources to face the next one”, stated the president of the FIQ.