At the Regroupement des FIQ–RFIQ Convention this June, you will have the opportunity to present your peers with a group prize and the individual Régine-Laurent prize. These prizes mark the exceptional union commitment of a member or union representative or group of members or union reps.
The prize will be awarded to a group of members or union reps who have distinguished themselves by setting up collective advocacy involvements or actions that involve members and reflect their outstanding union commitment.
Healthcare professional candidacies from the operating rooms at the HMR and Santa Cabrini hospitals for the Régine-Laurent group prize.
Today, it is with pride and conviction that I present the FIQ SPSESTIM’s selected group of professionals as candidates for the Régine-Laurent group prize: healthcare professionals from the operating rooms at the Maisonneuve-Rosemont and Santa Cabrini hospitals.
These caregivers were stupefied and outraged when their employer announced that they were going to hire unqualified staff to work inside operating rooms in the CIUSSS de l’Est-de-l’Île-de-Montréal. Driven by the desire to continue to provide safe, quality care to their patients, these healthcare professionals quickly took matters into their own hands to ensure the project would never see the light of day. They had unwittingly started the purest demonstration of nursing advocacy you could imagine. They stood up for their patients by embodying the intrinsic principles of truly caring for others.
There was an exemplary collaboration between the group of healthcare professionals and the union, not only because they took fast action and cooperated throughout the process, but because they mobilized and fought with courage and determination. I remember how surprised I was to be approached by the media the day after the employer announced the project. One of the group leaders had just had an interview with Paul Arcand about an article in Le Montreal Gazette that he had initiated the same day as the announcement.
From that moment on, the group carried out a series of initiatives to ramp up the pressure on the employer so they would definitively withdraw the project. They invested in social media and traditional media to gain exposure on the issues; they alerted the associations and professional orders; they even risked their jobs by signing a notice of resignation that would take effect the day the employer went ahead with the project. Two days later the CIUSSS abandoned the project.
The healthcare professionals of the operating rooms at the Maisonneuve-Rosemont and Santa Cabrini hospitals are living proof that healthcare professionals play an essential role in defending patients’ interests, especially during a labour shortage. They also demonstrated that when united, anything is possible.
The healthcare professionals at the CHSLD Denis Benjamin Viger
Why submit their candidacy?
It’s simple. These healthcare professionals really stood out when, on their own initiative, they submitted a work overload complaint for the CHSLD Denis Benjamin Viger.
Without knowing it, they had advocated for the residents of the Denis Benjamin Viger residential centre because they dared to loudly denounce that the residents were not receiving the quality of care they deserved, that their safety was compromised, that their rights were violated. Without knowing it, they had stood up for patients.
A committee on care was set up. They were active members and provided the union with the information needed to demonstrate the sad reality in the CHSLD Denis Benjamin Viger.
They even went to the FIQ to tell their story to Daniel Gilbert and Régine Laurent. They were very happy to feel the FIQ’s support at the meeting and to receive the Executive Committee’s approval and hear that they should fight until the end.
They didn’t once hesitate to denounce to the resource person what residents were experiencing at the CHSLD Denis Benjamin Viger. This helped to get a favourable report from the resource person for the FIQ.
Their dedication moved the case forward, always in the interest of the CHSLD residents. Despite their dedication, the employer continued to contest it, but they never stopped believing in the FIQ union.
The case went before an arbitrator in 2018, then before the courts in 2019-2020 and then to appeals court in 2021 and we are still awaiting the ruling.
Despite this long timeline, they never lost trust in the FIQ, and they never stopped defending the CHSLD residents. To this day, they continue to focus their work on the residents. Now that is advocacy!
What started as a simple work overload complaint ended up writing a page in the FIQ’s history. In our eyes, the engagement of these healthcare professionals stands and they deserve the Régine-Laurent prize.
The Syndicat des professionnelles en soins de santé ODIM
The intensive care healthcare staff from south Lanaudière
This team, which received COVID-19 cases, showed extraordinary solidarity throughout the pandemic. The team not only took on the tough challenge of caring for people with a disease that was unknown, but it also stood up and demanded working conditions to be able to provide proper care. During this pandemic, the team stood up, or rather stayed sitting, on three occasions to obtain the staff needed to provide adequate, safe care. The healthcare professionals demanded to be able to continue to deliver care while not putting themselves at risk, and especially not while putting patients in danger. They proposed solutions and agreed to work with the employer to resolve various problems. They never stopped asking to be able to practice their profession without the risk of compromising their patients’ safety. Their solidarity and promotion of good practices led to the creation of a work committee to change things. One by one they demanded adequate conditions, pleading that their patients deserved quality care. They attended meetings they set up to change things. Despite the almost daily mandatory overtime, they didn’t abandon their demands for quality care. Fatigue didn’t get the better of their plea. We believe that the Régine-Laurent prize reflects the strength of this group of engaged healthcare professionals, and that they deserve this prize. The south Lanaudière intensive care staff is a solid, tight-knit group that isn’t afraid of demanding conditions that allow them to do their job well and isn’t afraid of advocating for their patients who deserve the best from this group. The south Lanaudière intensive care staff represent the essence of advocacy. Thank you for considering their candidacy.
The members from the birthing unit at the Saint-Eustache hospital (SPSL)
Individual Régine-Laurent prize
The prize will be awarded to a member or union rep who has distinguished herself by an advocacy action that reflects her exceptional union commitment.
Émilie Ricard (SPS MCQ)
Émilie made a difference through an act of advocacy on January 29, 2018. That day, in her statement, she highlighted the problems of the unthinkable ratio in CHSLDs. Her message, which was shared thousands of times and even made it to Sweden, raised awareness among the population and the government. Many professionals used the hashtag #JESUISÉMILIE to share their own stories. She then gave several interviews and conferences, and got involved in union life as an agent, in an effort to improve our working conditions. Her action, among others, helps to make a difference by refusing to comply with the code of silence in the health network. Thank you, Émilie! You are a legendary model of advocacy at the FIQ-SPSMCQ and across Quebec!
Lucie Landry (SPSE)
Hello my dear delegates!
The FIQ-SPSCE union reps would like to present a candidate for the individual Régine-Laurent prize. Our colleague stands out for her experience, expertise, engagement, time invested, and proactive and innovative ideas for FIQ members and patients, ensuring the quality and safety of care.
Lucie Landry has been a union rep for more than 15 years. She is the respiratory therapist vice-president on our FIQ-SPSCE Executive Committee, mainly in charge of the occupational health and safety component, the joint OHS committee, and the Status of Women Committee on our local team.
In May 2020, in the first wave of the pandemic, we were informed of the so-called temporary closure of the voluntary pregnancy termination clinic in Cowansville. Naturally, the employer did not take the time to inform us in advance. Consequently, women who wanted to terminate a pregnancy as part of their family planning had to, from then on, travel nearly 100 km to Sherbrooke for this service. It’s a major obstacle for clients who don’t have their own means of transportation. Ms. Landry quickly contacted the FIQ members concerned, the doctor in charge, the MNAs responsible for the status of women (Christine Labrie, Hélène David, Isabelle Charest), community organizations in the Eastern Township region through the CAFE, and the FIQ’s Status of Women Sector. Headed by Ms. Landry, this big team mobilized to put pressure on our employer and the government. A targeted action plan that included sending a letter to our CEO and previous Health Minister, Danielle McCann, as well as a public denunciation, were set in motion with the ultimate goal of reopening the clinic as quickly as possible. Thanks to the initiative led by our colleague, our union won this battle for the population’s well-being. The employer reviewed their position and the voluntary pregnancy termination clinic in the local service network for Pommeraie reopened on June 19, 2020. Furthermore, the clinic gained more stable footing after it moved to more permanent offices. This act of advocacy for women patients is worth highlighting thanks to the actions of our colleague. We cannot thank you enough, Lucie Landry, on behalf of the women in the Eastern Townships and your union team.