This morning, the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec–FIQ and FIQ | Secteur privé–FIQP mobilized in front of the Québec premier’s office to demand that the government, and in particular the Minister of Health, Danielle McCann, stop Order 007 and give the healthcare professionals their rights back. The FIQ believes that the premier answered them in a cavalier manner and did not respond to their demand, demonstrating how little he really listens to his own workers.
“Québec is in the process of coming out of the lockdown and gradually resuming regular activities in the healthcare network. The healthcare professionals are still deprived of their rights while this is going on. Their employer forces them to work full time, ends their leaves, statutory holidays, and upends their schedule and vacation. They will not get through the ordeal of the pandemic in this way, the ministerial orders have to stop now, and they have to get back their working conditions”, explained Nancy Bédard, president of the FIQ.
Rather than discuss the FIQ’s actual demand, which makes perfect sense, the premier chose instead to criticize the healthcare professionals for being in front of his office. He also sowed confusion about the current negotiations. The political officer for the negotiations, Roberto Bomba, feels it is important to set the record straight after what the government said today:
- The FIQ wants to negotiate with the government, but has barely had 6 hours of meetings with the employer party in 50 days, since March 30th.
- Solutions were tabled in December, including quality and attractive positions and safe ratios.
- The government wants to settle the salary issues quickly, maintain the status quo and postpone the discussions that could improve the problems in the healthcare network for a year and a half, which we cannot qualify as a position open to solutions.
- Many healthcare professionals do work part time, but it is mostly because the working conditions are deplorable and employers offer lots of these types of positions.
- The excessive workload of the nurse, licensed practical nurse or respiratory therapist is linked to many factors: too many patients, impossible to give safe care, mandatory overtime and the composition of work teams are examples.
- Healthcare professional-to-patient ratios is a longstanding demand of the FIQ. Putting these ratios in place has proven itself in other jurisdictions with a similar context to that of Québec. The FIQ is proposing a gradual phase-in.
“The healthcare professionals will not stop talking, demanding and will do what they have to do to be respected, for themselves and the patients. They have had enough of the disrespect for their rights in the ministerial orders that decree their working conditions. The government has to listen to them and support them during this crucial time, and we can’t say that is what we heard today”, concluded Ms. Bédard.