Today, the second sequence of strike days starts for the 80,000 healthcare professionals represented by the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec-FIQ. If nurses, licensed practical nurses, respiratory therapists and clinical perfusionists are back on the picket lines, it’s because the government refuses to listen to their demands and insists on further downgrading their working conditions. FIQ members will strike on November 23 and 24.
“When a government believes it is reasonable to offer healthcare professionals a salary increase that doesn’t even cover inflation, when it wants to move them between centres of activities likes pawns, without taking their expertise into account, there’s only one thing to do: denounce the unacceptable and turn up the heat, said Julie Bouchard, FIQ President. Our members are angry because they don’t have the means to care for their patients at a level that reflects their expertise.”
This strike sequence is the biggest in the history of Quebec. Over 570,000 people in the public sector are on strike, of whom three quarters are women.
“The era of the government underpaying us and relying on our “vocation” is done. We are not care attendants, we are healthcare professionals who have families. Pay us like professionals! The last offers do not even cover inflation!” added Ms. Bouchard.
“The government says it wants to talk about the organization of work, but it is literally proposing the opposite. Sending any professional anywhere, anytime, anyhow is not progress, it’s madness. It will only cause more people to leave the network and decrease patient care safety,” explained Julie Bouchard, FIQ President.
Mauricie-Centre-du-Québec: a preview
In Mauricie-Centre-du-Québec, the government has already set up a preview of what it envisions for all of Quebec. Moving healthcare professionals around while disregarding their experience and expertise. The outcome: hundreds of people quitting. The government says its priority is the organization of work in these negotiations. It’s actually the disorganization of work that the government is putting forward.