In an act of solidarity, the APTS-FIQ alliance is taking part in the ‘Québec en pause’ movement and inviting healthcare professionals and professional and technical staff from the health and social services network, as well as the whole population, to take a 15-minute break on Thursday, November 12, 2020 at 10 a.m. to pay tribute to the front-line workers fighting against the pandemic.
“The pressure of this fight is adding to the work overload, which was already unbearable for our members. So much so that many of them don’t take their full breaks or meal breaks. This gesture may seem trivial, but it represents broad support for employees who are constantly providing essential services,” explained the presidents of the Alliance du personnel professionnel et technique de la santé et des services sociaux (APTS) and of the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec (FIQ), Andrée Poirier and Nancy Bédard.
The movement, started by the Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec (FTQ), aligns with objectives that are important to the alliance: paying tribute to the work of those who were infected with COVID-19 and thanking those who have been keeping the network afloat since the pandemic began.
“During the first wave, nearly a quarter of the people infected were from the health and social services network. Sadly, eleven died. With this gesture of union solidarity, the APTS-FIQ alliance hopes the message will resonate throughout Quebec: we cannot turn a blind eye to what they are living through every day,” added the alliance spokespeople.
While the population’s support is real and heartwarming, we have to face the truth: the government isn’t showing recognition. It has been managing the health and social services network with ministerial orders for 8 months now with no real improvements to the situation.
“Our 131,000 members’ efforts since the beginning of the pandemic must be compensated with improved working conditions. Unfortunately, the government’s moves at the bargaining table are feeble and there is still nothing concrete that recognizes the work of healthcare professionals and professional and technical staff who work in the health and social services network,” concluded Ms. Bédard and Ms. Poirier.
We understand that APTS-FIQ alliance members will not be able to simultaneously take a break at 10 am. That said, those who can, while respecting their collective agreement, are encouraged to do so.