FIQ (Fédération Interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec)

Healthcare professionals are one step closer to exercising their right to strike

Healthcare professionals are one step closer to exercising their right to strike

The Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du QuébecFIQ took an important step toward obtaining the right to strike. The FIQ is the first labour organization to obtain the green light from the Administrative Labour Tribunal (TAT) for all of its demands under the Essential Services Act. “This is an important step in our negotiations, which allows us, if necessary, to use all leverage to significantly improve working conditions for nurses, licensed practical nurses, respiratory therapists and clinical perfusionists,” said Nathalie Levesque and Jérôme Rousseau, Joint Political Officers for negotiations. 

The TAT’s decision reiterates the main principles of freedom of association and echoes a momentous Supreme Court of Canada ruling  in Saskatchewan in which the right to strike is recognized as essential when there is an impasse, and asserts the dignity and personal autonomy of employees during their career. In short, the ruling on essential services dictates the minimum number of healthcare professionals who must keep working during a strike. In the past, these quotas varied between institutions and were not enshrined in the Act.

Rulings in short:

  • While emergency and critical care services keep operating as usual, (100% under the Act), the TAT permits reduced work time in other sectors and services, including operating rooms.
  • Only 70% of operating services would be maintained in most institutions in the event of a strike, or 80% in highly specialized centres, to put pressure on the government.

In most hospital units, 85% of services will be maintained in the event of a strike, which means that healthcare professionals will be on strike 15% of their work time. In CHSLDs, 90% of services must be maintained.