“Fifteen years after the last amendments to the Act respecting labour standards, we were expecting so much more. We believe that the government has a real opportunity to make a difference for families, workers and healthcare professionals. We just hope they will use it. Today, we are making two suggestions that could greatly improve this bill. We are extending a helpful hand,” said FIQ President Nancy Bédard today as her organization presented its brief during the special consultations on Bill No. 176, An Act to amend the Act respecting labour standards and other legislative provisions mainly to facilitate family-work balance. Ms. Bédard was accompanied by FIQP President Sonia Mancier, and FIQ Vice-President Shirley Dorismond.
“Healthcare professionals are burdened with mandatory overtime far too often. In addition to putting them in danger, it compromises patients’ safety. That is why we would like paragraph 59.0.1 of the bill to be amended. We recommend adding that when workers’ or the public’s lives, health or safety are in immediate danger, or there is a risk of destruction or serious damage to movable or immovable property or in the case of another force majeure, that employees must notify their immediate superior at least one hour before reporting a refusal due to their inability to continue working beyond the periods covered in this article,” said Nancy Bédard.
FIQP President Sonia Mancier then suggested that parliamentarians offer 4 weeks of annual vacation to all employees who’ve completed one year of continuous service, the same amount given to most government employees. The bill currently proposes a third week of vacation after three years of service.
“We acknowledge the two sick days or two days of paid family leave included in the bill. However, it is not enough. There are a whole lot of part-time jobs in the private sector. This puts workers at risk. Some of them have to work two jobs to meet their basic needs. We believe that to promote family-work-study balance, there needs to be an increase in the number of paid sick and family leave days. That is why we recommend that the Act respecting labour standards stipulate 10 paid sick and family leave days,” said Sonia Mancier.
“Even though this bill does not meet our expectations, we would like it to be adopted before the end of the current session as it constitutes progress for all workers in Quebec. It must be passed before the fall elections so that it does not die on the Order Paper,” said Nancy Bédard.