Following their ultimatum on October 7, the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec – FIQ delegates and those of the FIQ | Secteur privé took note of the work at the bargaining table over the last few days at a virtual Special Provincial Council. Faced with a government that refuses to push forward with measures tackling the excessive workload, the 76,000 FIQ and FIQP members are turning up the heat. On October 24 and 25, they will refuse to be forced to stay at work. “The government had five days to demonstrate they had grasped the importance of agreeing to certain significant solutions put forward by the nurses, licensed practical nurses, respiratory therapists and clinical perfusionists. If the two sides want to have a tentative agreement, it will be necessary to put in the required energy. While we were ready to negotiate day and night, the government didn’t want to put in as much effort. There have been a few steps forward, but the openings are still clearly insufficient”, explained Nancy Bédard, president of the FIQ.
The government is again refusing to offer real working conditions enabling healthcare professionals to exercise all their skills fully, on complete and stable teams, as well as to roll out safe healthcare professional-to-patient ratios. “The healthcare professionals want a positive conclusion to the negotiations, quickly. Desperate times call for desperate measures”, continued the president.
48 hours without forced labour
Among the actions they will carry out in the next two weeks, the healthcare professionals will refuse to be forced to stay at work on October 24 and 25. During these 48 hours, they will go to work to provide care to their patients, they can volunteer to work overtime, but they will refuse MOT. “The health network has operated too long with the forced labour of healthcare professionals who are a majority of women. The situation is critical! What the healthcare professionals experience every day is unbearable. Thousands of them have jumped ship over the last few months and more will leave soon. Not because they want to abandon their patients, but because they have to literally save their own skin”, pointed out Jérôme Rousseau, Vice-President and joint officer for the negotiations.
The Federation believes that if the government wants a negotiated agreement, it is crucial that their representatives at the bargaining table are aware that time is running out. “The government constantly repeats that it is looking for solutions to the current problems. It wants to be able to provide care to the population? Good for them, as that is what the healthcare professionals also want! We have walked around the garden and the discussions are going around in circles. It’s enough. The government may have taken certain steps recently, but more action is needed from the latter. The healthcare professionals are ready and determined that their working conditions change after so many years of being scorned, exploited and deceived by various governments and administrators. That is the message that François Legault’s government needs to understand. Not in the coming months, but now!”, Roberto Bomba, Treasurer and joint officer for the negotiations.