It was with both a sense of apprehension and urgency that health and social services network unions learned about the government’s plan to implement the necessary changes in health care, as unveiled by Minister Christian Dubé today. Despite the commendable objectives and the minister’s openness, the APTS, FIQ and FIQP, FP-CSN, FSQ-CSQ, FSSS-CSN, SCFP, SPGQ and SQEES-FTQ are worried that this healthcare AND social services plan is nothing but a large-scale public relations show in light of the next elections.
The labour organizations see the plan as very ambitious and know that not all of the measures can be carried out in the short-term. Moreover, in the past, the government already announced and promised to carry out several of them. The organizations therefore request that Minister Dubé prioritize measures that aim for better organization of work to provide better practice conditions.
To do this, labour organizations invited the minister to make a first concrete gesture by immediately implementing a series of solutions to attract and retain staff. He mustn’t wait five years to take action! They would also like to have discussions starting now to agree on which solutions to implement because the situation requires urgent action.
As they see it, Minister Dubé has no choice but to give them a significant role in developing and implementing the selected measures. The solutions proposed by the RSSS’s workers must be thoroughly considered if he truly wants to rebuild the public network and wants the population to be proud of it. The same goes for achieving his goal of making the RSSS a top employer and promoting staff attraction and retention in the public network.
Furthermore, the unions are particularly worried about the place given to the private sector. They are concerned about the effect the overlapping will have to the detriment of the public sector. There is already a staffing shortage in the public sector and it would get worse if the private sector were to hire more. It would further the creation of a two-tiered system where access to care and services across the territory is already shaky. Labour organizations are demanding a moratorium on all new privatization projects and inviting the government instead to engage in an in-depth discussion with all RSSS partners to begin a real network reform.
“Since the start of the pandemic, the Legault government has been hot and cold when it comes to involving unions in decision-making and implementing measures to ensure the provision of care and services, preferring ministerial orders over true cooperation. The statements on Premier Legault’s Facebook page still seem to have the same tone. You cannot rebuild the RSSS with decrees, but rather by building a relationship of trust and listening. It will take the pooling of all stakeholders’ strengths. If Minister Dubé truly takes this direction, he can count on our cooperation,” said the representatives of the APTS, FIQ and FIQP, FP-CSN, FSQ-CSQ, FSSS-CSN, SCFP, SPGQ and SQEES-FTQ.