Given the meagre progress at the bargaining table and the need to quickly give healthcare professionals better working and salary conditions, the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec–FIQ is asking the Quebec government for mediation. “We submitted the demands of our 80,000 healthcare professionals on November 7, 2022. It took several months for us to get more negotiation dates from the government and today, unfortunately, negotiations are clearly not progressing fast enough to quickly respond to healthcare professionals’ needs, and more broadly, to the public health network’s needs,” explained Jérôme Rousseau, Vice-President and Joint Political Officer for negotiations at the FIQ.
While summer is fast approaching and healthcare professionals haven’t had a collective agreement since March 31, the FIQ hopes that a period of mediation will help both parties talk more seriously and concretely about common solutions. “The government keeps publicly saying that it wants to settle things fast. We too want a fast settlement, but that means addressing crucial issues for nurses, licensed practical nurses, respiratory therapists and clinical perfusionists. Their demands are legitimate and bring hope. Not only do they want to recover a better quality of life at work and home, they also want to be able to provide safe, quality care to the population,” continued Nathalie Levesque, also Vice-President and Joint Political Officer for the FIQ’s negotiations.
With this mediation request, the Federation does not want to knock negotiations off track. “With this request, we want to boost progress and emphasize the solutions that promote the attraction and retention of healthcare professionals in the health network. Time is running out! Every day healthcare professionals are leaving the network and these negotiations are essential to preventing this. Each professional we lose is one too many. We need action now!” concluded the union spokespeople.