Negotiations with the government can easily be compared to a marathon rather than a sprint. The issues around the collective agreement are complex. In the last negotiations, the employer representatives showed up far too often without a clear mandate, thus dragging out the process. We would gain ground on some points of discussion, while totally lagging on others. However, today the government is obliged to create a crisis team; care units are closing or only operating partially due to a lack of staff, mandatory overtime is still a pervasive abusive management method, the Health Minister is adamant that he wants to make the health network a top employer… We need to urgently negotiate better working conditions. The health network and public care and services depend on it.
Our union demands for the upcoming collective agreement negotiations are extremely promising for FIQ members. It goes without saying, more than 43,500 of you participated in the preliminary consultation used to write our demands. It is a union project that reflects nurses, respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and licensed practical nurses across Quebec.
Now that we have submitted our demands to the employer party at the Treasury Board and Comité patronal de négociation du secteur de la santé et des services sociaux, we are waiting for their response. We are eager to see the government’s offer, which should arrive by the end of this year.
For this round of negotiations in particular, healthcare professionals, the public, and patients have huge expectations. In fact, our expectations are commensurate with the enormous sacrifices that those who dedicate themselves heart and soul to the health of the Quebec population have been making for far too long.
We would like these negotiations to bring hope. The hope of giving or restoring the desire to have a career in the health network. The hope of returning home after a normal work shift and feeling the pride of a job well done!
To make the hope we feel a reality, we need to make ourselves seen, heard and we need to mobilize. Until we get an agreement that lives up to our ambitions, we will have to make our demands loud and clear!