Négociation nationale 2020

Questions/comments

FAQ

I am a nurse clinician. From now on will my OT be paid directly after my regular work week and not after 40 hours of work?

For several rounds of negotiations, the FIQ has been demanding that overtime hours be paid after the regular hours stipulated for the job title for nurses with a university degree. In the 2011-2015 collective agreement, the FIQ succeeded for nurse clinicians, nurse clinician assistant-head-nurses and nurse clinicians assistant to the immediate superior who work in centres of activities where services are provided twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week.

For this tentative agreement, the rule for overtime remains the same for nurses with a nurse job title that requires a university degree. However, for many nurses who have a job title that requires a university degree, the number of hours in their regular work week will be increased, thus narrowing the gap for being granted hours paid at time and a half for overtime.

In the tentative agreement, there is mention of a change to the payment of overtime on a weekly day off. Can you please clarify this?

In negotiations, choices have to be made in order to make the most gains for all employees represented by the FIQ. After analyzing all of the employer party’s demands, the Negotiating Committee decided to agree to repeal the article stipulating that work done on a weekly day off is paid as overtime since withdrawing it in no way changes the other rules, in particular with regard to overtime, which is payable after a regular workday or a regular workweek. Furthermore, case law states that a part-time employee will be paid at a regular rate if they have not worked 5 days, even if they were available to work.

Full-time employees will continue to be paid when they work more than their workweek, as was the case before this article was removed, since working on a weekly day off means working more than one’s regular workweek. Part-time employees will be paid the same as full-time employees, i.e., for more than their workweek.

That way overtime pay will be equitable for employees regardless of whether they have a full-time or part-time position.

Why does the weekend premium increase only apply to workers in 24/7 centres and not to others?

The FIQ’s initial request was to double the weekend premium for all healthcare professionals. The FIQ negotiated ardently with the government but the employer party was in no way willing to double the weekend premium, not for 24/7 centres of activities, nor for all network employees. However, the FIQ kept insisting and the employer party complied with a few aspects. This is a significant breakthrough for healthcare professionals because the weekend premium hadn’t been reviewed since it came into effect over 30 years ago.

Does a newly hired employee on the evening or night shift have a right to the organization of work time

Yes, according to the conditions agreed upon by the local parties.

When an employee comes to an agreement with their manager to stagger their work hours, do they then have to do that permanently

No. Staggering one’s work hours is done on a voluntary basis. The employee is free to revert back to the weekly work hours stipulated in the collective agreement.

Will the employer post the job of the employee in the pilot-project before they retire so that they can pass on their knowledge

Yes, the main goal of the pilot-project is to enable the employee in question to pass on their knowledge to the person who will take on the job, as well as to the whole team of healthcare professionals working in the emergency department.

What changes will the letter of understanding on the reduction of independent labour (IL) bring?

While the letter of understanding does not include a reduction target (because the situation varies greatly between institutions), there is leverage stipulated in the letter of understanding to ensure work is done, both at the local and provincial level, to properly address each situation. The employer will have to send the union data on IL (data that is next to impossible to get at the moment) and reduce IL, especially on the day shift in order to prioritize network employees when setting schedules.

When will the minimum incumbency of part-time positions at 7/14 apply

In 24/7 centres of activities, all part-time positions at 4/14, 5/14 and 6/14 will be increased to 7/14 six months after the collective agreement comes into effect, so after the first posting of vacant positions and the first upgrading period.

For those who work in other centres of activities, the clauses in the collective agreement will apply as soon as it comes into effect, unless otherwise stated. Consequently, employers will proceed with upgrading the incumbency.

Why won’t all minimal position upgrades be done at the same time for all healthcare professionals?

In 24/7 centres of activities, there will be a full-time upgrading period within the 60 days following the coming into effect of the collective agreement, as well as a broad posting of full-time positions. As such, it would be difficult to upgrade the minimum incumbency at the same time, so it was postponed to 6 months after the collective agreement comes into effect.

Will the addition of employees pursuing full-time studies to the list of employees who want to withdraw from the incumbency process take away their right to request a leave without pay or part-time leave without pay for study?

The list of employees who want to withdraw from the incumbency process makes it possible for employees who meet the criteria to do so voluntarily. As such, employees pursuing full-time studies are in no way obligated to withdraw from the incumbency process. It is up to them to decide. They can therefore request, based on the conditions stipulated in the collective agreement, a leave without pay or part-time leave without pay for study.

Why is it said that the care hours target per bed per year in a CHSLD is a first step towards safe healthcare professional-to-patient ratios in a CHSLD?

The care hours target per bed per year that was negotiated by the FIQ is 470 to 500 care hours per bed per year. This target will be used to build the job structure in every CHSLD and private subsidized institution (EPC). The number of healthcare professionals who work “on the floor” will therefore be established based on the care to be given to each patient. By way of example, the target of 470 to 500 care hours per bed is converted into average ratios per dyad (nurse and licensed practical nurse) in the following way:

  • Day : 1 dyad for 24-25 patients
  • Evening: 1 dyad for 30-32 patients
  • Night: 1 dyad for 44-47 patients
What happens to the pilot projects on ratios in CHSLDs, given the care hours target that was obtained?

The work carried out through the pilot projects has laid the basis for the dyad structure that we want to implement in all CHSLDs in Québec.

Which healthcare professionals working in obstetrics and perinatality will be entitled to the specific critical care premium?

Healthcare professionals will receive the specific critical care premium of 6% and the enhanced specific critical care premium of 7% for hours worked in an obstetrical care (mother-child) centre of activities providing 24/7 care.

The obstetrical care or mother-child centre includes antepartum, delivery and postpartum.

Pregnancy follow-ups in a clinic and pediatrics are not included.

Is the budget for the training and development of the SNPs’ skills separate from the budget allotted to the HRDP?

Yes, the FIQ negotiated a new amount of money and this budget is separate.

What happens once the number of SNPs increases? Will the average amount of $2,000 be less?

The FIQ negotiated a budget of 0.03% of the wage bill for all healthcare professionals. The wage bill for Class 1 has always been on the rise over the years and it is to be expected that the allotted amount will increase as healthcare professionals are added in the health network with the addition of the full-time equivalents and SNPs. The average amount should therefore remain around $2,000 for the duration of the collective agreement.

Will a nurse who decided to pursue her studies at university to obtain a bachelor’s degree with certificates receive an echelon advancement as she completes certificates during her studies?

There is no change in the collective agreement for the nurse who decides to pursue her studies to obtain a bachelor’s degree with certificates. The collective agreement will be applied in the same way for the recognition of echelon advancement based on the number of credits obtained.

However, when she has completed her studies, the recognition of the Bachelor of Nursing will not be on a set date, but automatically when the employee presents her diploma.

What is a tentative agreement?

A tentative agreement is signed when the two parties agree on the major principles which will make up the collective agreement, without writing the texts. This document is submitted to the FIQ delegates who decide if they will then submit it to the members, who will validate that this broad outline meets the members’ needs and corresponds to the negotiation draft.

Is the additional compensation for an employee with a master’s or doctorate automatic once these diplomas are obtained?

The additional compensation will be granted for an employee with a job title requiring a university degree and who has a master’s or doctorate in the same discipline or related discipline to her job title. Moreover, the diploma must be above the academic requirements stipulated in the List of Job Titles.

What happens to the initial demands of each bargaining party when there is a tentative agreement?

A tentative agreement is the result of a bargaining process between two parties. It must be understood that each party wants to solve their own problems and each of them has its own vision of the necessary solutions to be put forward. At the end of the negotiations, some of the initial demands may be fully included in the tentative agreement, others may be modified and lastly, some will be put aside by each party.

When will the collective agreement apply?

The tentative agreement will be submitted to an electronic vote once a global agreement has been concluded. Once the members have ratified this tentative agreement, the work on writing the texts will begin. If the process follows the usual pattern, the collective agreement could go into effect in the middle of 2021.

What about the ministerial orders? Will they impede the application of the new agreement?

According to public health experts, since vaccinations have begun, it is expected that conditions will return to normal by late winter or spring 2021. The texts for the new collective agreement will be written during that time. The new texts will probably be signed and put into effect after the public health crisis and once the abusive use of the ministerial orders has stopped.

What is the main principle of the agreement?

The tentative agreement is based on the principle of work team STABILITY, light years away from the culture of mobility and flexibility which has been at work in the network for years and which has greatly contributed to the deterioration of the healthcare professionals’ working conditions and whose failures have been brought to light by the COVID-19 pandemic. This work team stability is part of the many measures which, together, will eliminate the work overload, fight against mandatory overtime and, in the end, pave the way to implementing safe healthcare professional-to-patient ratios.

Why must full-time positions be added?

By having more full-time healthcare professionals we can truly stabilize the teams, reduce the workload, facilitate access to time off and reduce MOT. To be attractive, positions must be stable, interesting and facilitate work-personal life balance. Full-time positions also ensure better financial support now, and at retirement.

Creation of new positions: where will the healthcare professionals come from?

The goal is to attract those who have left the network through measures to stabilize work teams in a centre of activities and on a permanent shift, reduce the work overload and mandatory overtime, which will eventually allow the establishment of favourable conditions for the implementation of safe healthcare professional-to-patient ratios.

Moreover, the FIQ negotiated the necessary tools to not only significantly reduce the use of independent labour, but also the priority of healthcare professionals in the health and social services network over those from employment agencies, who will only have access to shifts not taken by the health network healthcare professionals. The FIQ believes that, in the end, many agency employees will return to the network.

How will positions be upgraded to full time?

Three upgrading periods and two posting periods are planned over the duration of the collective agreement. The first upgrading and posting period will take place in the 60 days following the collective agreement going into effect.

Will all healthcare professionals have to work full-time?

Not at all. Upgrading to full-time will only happen on a voluntary basis. The employer will not be able to post part-time positions until these targets are met. The government has agreed to maintain the specified percentage of full-time positions. The full-time position targets are set at 80% in CHSLDs, the emergency department, in obstetrical units, and at 70% in other centres of activities. There will always be a certain percentage of part-time positions, but with this agreement, professionals will see the benefits of having a full-time position.

Will the upgrading exercise result in part-time-workers on the day shift getting a full-time day position to the detriment of workers on other shifts with more seniority?

For healthcare professionals to have the opportunity to obtain a full-time position on the shift of their choice on a 24/7 centre of activities, all vacant positions will be posted simultaneously in the first upgrading exercise for these centres of activities. These positions will be posted as full time and employees who so want can change centre of activities or shift.

All part-time healthcare professionals on a 24/7 centre of activities will be offered the chance to become a full-time employee on their shift and centre of activities during the upgrading process. The decision will be up to each of them since the upgrading exercise to full time on 24/7 centres of activities is on a voluntary basis

I have a 7/14 day-evening float team position in three CHSLDs in the same CIUSSS. What can the upgrade on a permanent shift and centre of activities mean for me?

It is undeniable that the main feature of the tentative agreement is work team stabilization on a centre of activities and shift. After the collective agreement goes into effect, certain provisions can be reviewed and agreed on at the local level, in particular the centre of activities, float team, compound positions and the rotation shift.

Moreover, through the massive posting of full-time positions for 24/7 centres of activities and CHSLDs that will take place in your institution, you will be able to apply for these positions, which will be on one centre of activities and a permanent shift.

If the target set for a given centre of activities is reached after the 1st step in the upgrading, can an employee who has refused an upgrade be eligible later for a full-time upgrade?

The tentative agreement stipulates 3 upgrading exercises. However, if the set target for a centre of activities is reached after the 1st step in the upgrading is carried out, this puts an end to the upgrading process for the employee.

It is important to understand that the 1st step will be carried out regardless of whether the set target is reached or not, and without a maximum, so all employees in the centre of activities concerned who wish to obtain a full-time position will be able to do so.

For the 2nd and 3rd upgrading exercise, the prerequisite for starting the upgrading process is that the set target has not been reached.

Will the upgrading exercises be like those that employers have already carried out in the past (LU No. 6, initiative to upgrade, etc.)?

No. The previous upgrading processes were negotiated at the local level and were often preceded by an evaluation of the centre of activities’ needs, and rarely from new money invested in it.

In this tentative agreement, the FIQ negotiated an investment of new money to upgrade the existing job structures and add 1,000 full-time equivalents for CHSLDs and 500 full-time equivalents for 24/7 centres of activities dedicated primarily to medicine and surgery centres of activities.

Can an employee upgrade her position with a few days during the full-time upgrading process while remaining a part-time employee?

An employee who wants to voluntarily upgrade her position during the full-time upgrading process cannot do so partially by adding a few days to have, for example, an 8 day per two-week position.

However, an incumbency process of 7 days per two weeks will take place for all healthcare professionals incumbents of a position with fewer days.

What will happen with the vacant part-time positions during the full-time upgrading exercises?

If the set target for a given centre of activities has not been reached, the employer will be obliged to change part-time positions into full-time positions before posting them.

Posting part-time positions will only be possible when the set target is reached. In this tentative agreement, the FIQ negotiated an obligation for the employer to maintain a proportion of 70% or 80% of full-time positions based on the centre of activities concerned. In the end, the balance between full-time and part-time positions will be reached.

How does working more foster work-family-personal life balance?

Increasing the number of healthcare professionals who work full time will increase the number of care hours. Therefore, there will be a reduction in the workload, overtime and mandatory overtime. Everyone wins: less exhaustion, better access to the time off in the collective agreement, especially statutory holidays and annual vacation, a stable schedule, in short, a significant improvement in work-family-personal life balance is expected.

Moreover, the tentative agreement negotiated by the FIQ provides access to a 9/14 schedule for those who are incumbents of full-time evening positions on 24/7 centres of activities, like those who work the night shift, which will improve the quality of life for healthcare professionals working on the inconvenient shifts.

Ministerial order 007 forced us to work full time, deprived us of our time off and vacation and, despite this, we failed to eliminate the use of MOT. How will this tentative agreement be different?

Outside a pandemic situation, an increase in the number of healthcare professionals who work full time will increase the number of care hours. Therefore, the workload, overtime and mandatory overtime will be less.

What are the advantages of working 37.5 hours in 24/7 centres, CLSCs and northern clinics?

There will be a 37.5-hour work week for clinical perfusionists and respiratory therapists who work in 24/7 centres of activities or on two different continuous shifts, and for all healthcare professionals who work in CLSCs and northern clinics. The added 2.5 hours per week will be eligible for RREGOP and represent more care hours for patients. These hours are often already worked but not paid. This represents up to a 7.14% pay increase.

Where does the recommendation that SNPs work a 40-hour week come from?

Several recommendations were made, including increasing the workweek to 40 hours, following the work carried out by an advisory committee, which included five SNPs from different institutions and various specialties. It appears that it is difficult for many SNPs to have their almost daily overtime recognized, which is, in a best-case scenario, paid at straight time and registered in a bank to take back. The objective of this measure is to ensure a stable compensation which will be eligible for the pension plan, while spreading out the work over the course of the week.

Why and how to make full-time work attractive?

By having more people working full time, there will be more healthcare professionals available to do the different tasks and thus reduce everyone’s workload. Working full time gives several monetary benefits, in addition to the premium, that a part-time employee does not get, including the calculation of the pension annuity.

Full time will stabilize the work teams and reduce overtime, mandatory or not, and workload. This will improve well-being at work. It will take effort from everyone and the best way to motivate that effort is by adding a premium. The FIQ and FIQP are proposing a premium of 12% for incumbents of full-time positions or assignments. The goal is to convert this premium into a paid day off, which would be the employee’s choice.

This demand aims to create quality full-time positions without rotation in a single site.

Can all full-time employees convert the 12% premium?

Yes, the premium is paid to all employees incumbents of full-time positions or assignments, regardless of their shift.

Why implement safe healthcare professional-to-patient ratios only in CHSLDs?

For several years, the FIQ has talked about the ratios as one of the preferred solutions to resolve the problems in the health network, by reducing the workload. The impact of the COVID-19 crisis in the CHSLDs only worsened a situation that was already unacceptable. The staff shortage and grossly deficient healthcare professional-to-patient ratios have undeniably contributed to the high rate of people with COVID-19 in CHSLDs, both staff and residents. Without talking about the residents’ mortality rate. Therefore, let’s quickly begin with gradually rolling out the ratios in CHSLDs. Then roll them out in emergency departments and medicine-surgery. The key word is gradually. Let’s begin now.

The objective of implementing safe ratios through a law remains a FIQ and FIQP demand. That is the best way to ensure the respect of ratios everywhere and at all times.

Why make the standard workweek 37.5 hours?

By standardizing the workweek, the number of hours the healthcare professionals care for patients rises. For many, this work time is already done by shortening their break times and meal periods. By recognizing these hours in the basic salary, they can be recognized in pension calculation. For many healthcare professionals, this means fair recognition of the work they do, particularly for respiratory therapists or healthcare professionals working in a CLSC. It also facilitates implementing safe ratios and increases the compensation of the healthcare professionals involved.

It is also a measure of fairness for all our healthcare professionals and facilitates schedule management, as everyone works on the same hourly basis.

Does everyone have to work full time with the standardization of the weekly hours at 37.5 hours for all?

No. The objective of the negotiations is that all healthcare professionals work 7.5 hours a day instead of 7 hours or 7.25 hours. This measure affects as many incumbents of full-time positions as those who work part time. It will raise the number of hours of care given to patients, while recognizing the work done.

Why insist on occupational health and safety?

Healthcare professionals want to work in a safe work environment. It is their physical and psychological health at stake. Therefore, preventive measures need to be put in place now, especially in remote regions. The healthcare professionals have waited 40 years and we don’t understand why the CNESST is incapable of moving. The COVID-19 crisis only aggravated this already existing problem. An Act respecting occupational health and safety must be fully applicable to our sector, like in the construction sector, for example.

Why are uniforms not supplied everywhere, because healthcare professionals are in contact with germs all year long?

It is currently the institution’s choice to supply or not a uniform. By making this demand, the FIQ and FIQP are ensuring consistency in the practices across the health and social services network.

Will the employer pay the permits to practice or membership in professional associations directly or reimburse the employee once payment has been made?

The FIQ and FIQP demand is that the employer reimburse the fees. The terms of this reimbursement will be determined in the next phase.

I heard that the lump sums stipulated for employees working in CHSLDs and with clientele presenting severe behaviour disorders (SBD) end on September 30, 2020. What will happen afterwards?

The demands made by the FIQ and FIQP replace and improve what currently exists in a letter of understanding in the collective agreement. The amounts set out in the letters of understanding have not achieved the objective of attraction and retention and are not sufficient. This is the reason for the FIQ and FIQP demand to implement a premium of 8% for all employees who work in a CHSLD or with clientele presenting severe behaviour disorders (SBD). This premium would be included in the collective agreement.

I work hard in home support (SAD), but, sometimes, I don’t have enough time to handle all my files. How will increasing my workweek to 37.5 hours help me?

With a 37.5-hour week for everyone, there will be 30 more minutes of care a day for the healthcare professionals in home support. That will, for example, allow one more patient to be seen or complete various follow-ups and thus better balance the workload over the week.

I am on-call on evenings and weekends in addition to my full-time position. When called to work, I am paid at straight time for the first hours of my recall to work, even if it is the middle of the night! I find this unfair…how can it be fixed?

Ending the obligation for a nurse clinician to work 40 hours a week before being paid overtime will resolve this problem. Moreover, implementing 37.5 hours for everyone means everyone will be paid overtime after the regular workweek.

Contrary to what the government claims, healthcare professionals do not have the latitude to manage their schedule as they want. In reality, it is difficult for them to take back their overtime hours and this does not add any care hours.

I have a rotation position, but I am never paid my rotation premium! They are always telling my about the cycle…how can that be fixed?

There is currently a problem in applying the rotation premium. This is the reason why one of the FIQ sectoral demands is to simplify the application of this premium so that more healthcare professionals can benefit from it.

I am taking my licensed practical nurse course right now, but if I become a CPLPNP, I will earn less than I currently earn as a beneficiary attendant. How can this be fixed?

With the purpose of correcting a long-standing problem, the FIQ and FIQP are demanding that an employee in the health and social services network who becomes a CPNP or CPLPNP cannot be paid a lower salary than that she was paid in her former job title. Therefore, it will be beneficial for a beneficiary attendant following a licensed practical nurse course to become a CPLPNP and be able to use the new skills she will have acquired.

I am a nurse clinician and, with my nurse technician colleague and I would like to work in the Far North. My colleague says we will be paid based on the same salary scale… That can’t be! It’s not fair!

Based on the principle of fairness and with the purpose of recognizing the academic fair value and contribution of nurse clinicians in northern clinics, the FIQ is demanding the creation of new job titles of assistant-head-nurse in a northern clinic, nurse clinician in a northern clinic and nurse clinician assistant-head-nurse in a northern clinic.

Why are we in an alliance with the APTS (and not with other union organizations)?

Both of our organizations represent professionals and technicians who provide public care, the majority of whom are female. They have common interests and can therefore more easily identify joint demands. What’s more, the sheer number of members it brings together (131,000) represents over half of the employees in the health and social services network. This alliance is advantageous because it gives us stronger bargaining power with the government, as well as to improve salary and working conditions.

Does the APTS-FIQ alliance mean that both organizations have to agree on pressure tactics?

Yes. In order to support the intersectoral work, the two organizations must use the same pressure tactics at the same time. Each organization’s negotiation structure must approve the joint pressure tactics.

Why are our demands based on a 3-year collective agreement when previous collective agreements were for 5 years?

The Labour Code stipulates that collective agreements must be for a three-year period. The union submission and our demands comply with this requirement.

With this alliance, who will be at the bargaining table?

At the bargaining table, there will be representatives from both organizations, including one spokesperson from each organization.

How does the COVID-19 pandemic influence the provincial negotiations?

It has been quite a year for the healthcare professionals at the forefront of the battle against COVID-19 while they are negotiating the renewal of their collective agreement. The negotiation of the provincial collective agreement must be seen as an opportunity to begin rebuilding the network, shaken by the crisis, on solid ground. Now is the time to resolve the problems that healthcare professionals have denounced for years.

With the measures proposed by the FIQ and FIQP, the network will have a chance to recover from the disaster caused by the COVID-19 crisis. The FIQ and FIQP are proposing to add clauses on prevention of infections, insisting on prevention mechanisms in occupational health and safety and are proposing to begin implementing ratios in CHSLDs, the hardest hit areas by the COVID-19 crisis. The government has to take advantage of the opportunity offered to stop the haemorrhage in the health network, while more and more healthcare professionals are thinking about leaving their jobs.

How is the FIQ and FIQP negotiation project put together?

Everything begins with a negotiation project, which includes the FIQ and FIQP’s two priorities: health and safety at all levels and attraction-retention of healthcare professionals in the network. This project is the result itself of consultations with the members. Then, the project is adopted based on the situation – the context of negotiations, current events, and economic reality – with the collaboration of the union reps elected to the Negotiating Committee and representatives from each FIQ and FIQP affiliated union, who make up the Council of Negotiations.

Will the negotiation project benefit all FIQ and FIQP members?

Yes, the 76,000 FIQ and FIQP members will benefit from the key measures. Think about the demand to standardize the workweek at 37.5 hours for everyone and the 12% premium for incumbents of full-time positions or assignments. The demands are made in such a way that all job titles represented by the FIQ and FIQP can reap the benefits.

What is an inter-round committee?

It is a joint union party and employer party working committee on specific questions and issues, defined at the time the collective agreement is signed. For the sectoral matters, the FIQ and FIQP are demanding the creation of such a committee to discuss updating the collective agreement, reviewing the dispute-resolving mechanisms, including grievances, and ensuring that the collective agreement provides for adequate duty of representation.

On the cost of these measures

Obviously, the FIQ and FIQP are aware that Québec is dealing with a difficult economic period. However, doing nothing will also cost a lot, from both a human and economic point of view. Just look at the example of cuts in public health that have weakened Québec’s response to COVID-19. Are we ready to face a second wave of COVID-19? To face the challenge of an ageing population? It is a collective choice of being able to count on a health network in which all Quebecers can be proud.

Improving the healthcare professionals’ working conditions means improving the quality and safety of patient care. Our members want time with their patients and conditions for giving good care, to do a good job.

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