At the end of the two first strike days in nearly 25 years, healthcare professionals are warning the government: it’s only the beginning! There will be other strike days on November 23 and 24 unless the employer party makes new substantial offers.
This government needs to acknowledge the determination of healthcare professionals on the picket lines. This strike is that of the 80,000 nurses, licensed practical nurses, respiratory therapists and clinical perfusionists who are standing strong, demanding respect for their limits. For years now, and especially since the beginning of the pandemic, the government has often seen healthcare professionals as pawns that can be overworked and moved around, without consideration for their professional judgement or personal lives. That time is over!
The health network’s experts, who are predominantly women, have had enough of the government exploiting their devotion to their profession to operate a system with a shortage of resources. Healthcare professionals have a specialized expertise, and they deserve respect, just like any predominantly male profession.
The slow downs related to the strike days, with essential services maintained, are nothing in comparison to the losses related to the workforce “shortage” caused by the terrible working conditions in the public health network.
Our working conditions are citizens’ care conditions. And the population knows this, despite the government’s insistence that it’s merely a union issue.