Negotiation update: a lot of noise…but nothing concrete for healthcare professionals
One could say that a lot is happening in the health and social services network this week, but is any of it helping to improve conditions for healthcare professionals? Not necessarily. Let’s take a minute to untangle all of this.
Everything started last week when the government called labour organizations to a meeting to give them a new “employer offer,” which turned out to just be a document that specified certain conditions on intersectoral matters in the first offers submitted on December 15, 2022. So, nothing new up until now, though there may be a follow-up on April 3, with specifications on sectoral matters.
We are really wondering what game the employer party is playing by putting so much time into putting out “clarifications” on an offer that was submitted three months ago and that we already rejected on January 19, 2023. The government is clearly wasting our time!
But that’s only the beginning. On Monday this week, while your Negotiating Committee was heading to the meeting with the Comité patronal de négociation, we saw the announcement in the news of a major bill on the governance of the health and social services network.
This bill was just tabled and it contains over 1,100 sections. While it is not directly related to the current negotiations, it could very likely contain elements that will have an impact on healthcare professionals’ daily lives, especially regarding seniority. We will therefore take the time to analyze it and will give you an update in the next few days.
One might say that this bill has very particular timing and is clearly serving government interests. A government that has been doing everything possible to camouflage its inaction in the last few months at the bargaining table, as well as the impending expiry of the collective agreement on March 31, a date that will mark the start of mobilizations.
Small consolation: the retention premiums are extended until June 2023
The government found itself obliged to go back on its decision to cease the retention premiums (3.5% for all healthcare professionals and additional evening and night premiums in 24/7 units) on March 30. Once the FIQ found out about the decision to end premiums, it made sure to highlight its lack of coherence, especially during a labour shortage.
Fortunately, our demand was heard. This week, the government informed the Negotiating Committee that the premiums would be renewed until June 2023, subject to the progress at the bargaining table.