As a reminder of their anger at the government, healthcare professionals left hundreds of uniforms in front of the Treasury Board’s offices. They also put up signs that say: LeBel, stop pleading, come negotiate!
“Minister LeBel seems to think that everyone has the skills to care for patients. So, we are giving her uniforms so that she can try to do our job. Once she has done a few hours of healthcare professionals’ work, we are certain she will change her negotiation strategy,” explained Julie Bouchard, President of the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec–FIQ.
Nurses, licensed practical nurses, respiratory therapists and clinical perfusionists are particularly shocked that the president of the Treasury Board is not cracking open negotiations at the bargaining table. With the proposals on the table, Minister LeBel is showing that she has no respect for their expertise, professional judgement or personal lives. Furthermore, the government’s salary offers do not even cover inflation over the next five years.
“After nearly a year of negotiations, it is time that Minister LeBel, a former lawyer, stops pleading her case in the public eye and instead starts to negotiate for real. The government says things in the media that have not even been mentioned at the bargaining table. There’s a limit to saying one thing in the media and another at the table,” added Ms. Bouchard.
Special Federal Council
This visibility action took place as part of a Special Federal Council in Quebec City. The union delegates met to hear the Negotiating Committee’s progress report and discuss the first two strike days.
“The union delegates can’t believe that after a vote of 95% in favour of a strike and overflowing picket lines for two days that there is no progress at the bargaining table. The government says it wants to avoid an unlimited general strike. It’s off to a bad start,” concluded Ms. Bouchard.