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FIQ (Fédération Interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec)

Beware! This page is not up to date. Click on this link to see the prioritized demands
that were presented on October 9, 2023.

Our demands

On November 7, 2022, the FIQ submitted its demands, which stemmed from a broad consultation held in the fall. On December 15, the government submitted its offers, which the FIQ delegation rejected.

Following the government’s recent submission, which details its offers from December 15, and given the minimal space it is giving to the FIQ’s demands in discussions, the Negotiating Committee felt it was necessary to consult the members again. It was held May 8 to 28, 2023.

The consultation’s findings leave little room for interpretation: the employer offers must be improved, no question.

Remuneration

Improving income

Many people mistakenly think that improving income only affects annual salary increases. In fact, improving income comes in various forms and affects several demands.

Remuneration includes demands for a salary increase of 4% a year over three years of a 6% salary catch-up based on the record inflation of the last year. With the inflation of the last few months and the significant impact on the cost of living, it is now necessary to provide a mechanism which will prevent the impacts of these economic shocks. The government created iniquities during the last negotiations by implementing a one-time salary for beneficiary attendants. As a result, it affected the balance between job titles and it is important to adjust the entry salary for licensed practical nurses and respiratory therapists who shouldn’t have to pay the price for this decision. Moreover, to ensure attracting healthcare professionals to the public network, the entry-level salary should be the one in the 7th echelon of the salary scales.

Improving income also includes improving and maintaining the premiums. Significant amounts were granted to FIQ and FIQP members over the last few years, in particular by the various ministerial orders linked to the health emergency measures. As such, it is preferable that these amounts continue. The existing premiums should be extended and the critical care premiums should apply without being split up into hours or based on the time spent on the care unit. The updating of the psychiatry premium and revision of specific units, the CHSLD premium for the Maisons des aînés et alternatives (Senior Homes and alternatives) are other demands that can improve salaries.

Improving income also includes the reimbursement of the professional order’s fees, annual vacation pay based on the total salary and reimbursement of parking costs and improved travel allowances, including the reimbursement of 50% of public transit costs (demand 19).

By making several demands in the draft collective agreement to improve income, the Negotiating Committee will be able to try and make gains on several fronts.

Download the draft collective agreement to see the complete list of demands.

Retirement and insurance

When we are young and healthy, the topics of retirement and insurance may seem a long way off, although these are very important working conditions. Labour organizations fought to obtain working conditions that recognize all stages of employees’ lives whether when they are working, ill or close to retirement.

Four demands are on improving the pension plan and one demand on the health insurance plan. Though very technical, these demands could have a concrete impact on the healthcare professionals’ pension and insurance plans.

For example, the maximum age to contribute to RREGOP is currently age 69. The union demand of allowing participation until age 71 would allow those who so desire to continue contributing to the plan and reach, if applicable, the maximum of 80% of income.

Download the draft collective agreement to see the complete list of demands.

Remote regions

What are we talking about when we refer to regional disparities? They are clauses in the collective agreement that aim to compensate the healthcare professionals’ work in remote regions where access to care is more difficult, but also where the size of the territory and the distance from major centres lead to special working conditions.

Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Northern Québec, Nunavik, the northern Laurentians and de la Mauricie are regions that meet these criteria.

Adapted working conditions based on the reality of the remote regions include specific premiums, compensation for travel, lodging and the number of trips out.

Download the draft collective agreement to see the complete list of demands.

Overtime

Overtime (OT) is the hours worked after the regular workday or regular workweek. We are also talking about the overtime rate by using the notion of paying an additional 50% (time and a half) or 100% (double time) of the salary, whether or not it is beyond the regular week. It is important to distinguish the two which use the same principle of increasing salaries, but which do not represent the same thing.

The overtime rate is used to compensate the hours beyond the regular workday or workweek but is also used to compensate an inconvenience incurred. (see the Compensation of inconveniences section)

Working overtime, beyond the regular workday or workweek, has become a common practice and a constraint in the reality of healthcare professionals. More compensation is essential. During the pandemic, to fill the shifts left vacant, the government acknowledged the importance of paying overtime at double time, so they must maintain this working condition. The same is true for the reimbursement of the cost of the meal when working overtime.

Moreover, note that nurse clinicians are the only healthcare professionals to still have a different rule for recognizing overtime. This injustice is no longer acceptable.

Download the draft collective agreement to see the complete list of demands.

Personal life-work balance

Nation to nation relations

Remember that the FIQ and FIQP adopted Joyce’s Principle. Developed by the Manawan Atikamekw Council and the Atikamekw Nation Council following the tragic death of Joyce Echaquan, Joyce’s Principle aims to guarantee all indigenous people a right to equitable access, without discrimination, to all health and social services, as well as the right to enjoy the highest attainable standard of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. Recognizing systemic racism is also a major key in initiating genuine reconciliation. The First Nations people are entitled to quality care and services and must feel safe when they go to healthcare institutions. Although the road to healing and reconciliation will be long, simpler and more symbolic gestures are within reach.

September 30, National Day of Truth and Reconciliation is a day celebrated by the First Nations.  The road for genuine nation to nation relations will be long and we must start to take concrete action, such as the introduction of a statutory holiday.

Download the draft collective agreement to see the complete list of demands.

Domestic violence

The pandemic has highlighted many of the ills of our society and the issue of domestic violence was particularly dramatic for many women during the confinement. Feminicides have numbered in the dozens over the past two years and there are numerous and devastating consequences for families.

Women caught in the context of domestic violence are faced with an untenable choice: take time off work and lose the income they need to get out of their toxic environment or stay at work despite the difficulties and risks involved. They must be better supported. Leaving a violent home requires organization, steps, time … and money! Access to leaves will enable these women to maintain an income while enabling them to organize and find a safe place for their family.

Download the draft collective agreement to see the complete list of demands.

Parental rights

Before being healthcare professionals, the members are women and men who are finding it increasingly difficult to smoothly balance family obligations and work. Hence, it is essential to offer them options for adapting their work activities to their reality as parents or family members. The recognition of respect for family life has become a central union struggle.

Many healthcare professionals are also caregivers for a child or parent. Some also experience major difficulties in accessing daycare. As the majority of healthcare professionals are women, they also experience the challenges of pregnancy. We must therefore continue the fight to improve personal life-work balance.

Download the draft collective agreement to see the complete list of demands.

Access to time off and schedules

At the core of healthcare professionals’ daily lives: planning their workweek. Being able to plan when they work, adjust a full-time position to 8, 9 or 10 shifts per two weeks while keeping the benefits related to a full-time status, as the employee chooses, and be exempt from the obligation to hold a position for personal life-work balance reasons are all demands that allow the healthcare professional to regain a balance between work and personal life. The schedule is the key to personal life-work balance and being able to know your schedule 3 months in advance is far from being a luxury.

Talking about access to time off and the schedule also means talking about adding weeks of annual vacation, 7/7 schedules for annual vacation, improving access to various leaves (without agreement with the employer), leaves for a death and leaves with deferred pay.

In conclusion, being able to use one’s premiums in money or in time off is organization of work that has proven its worth; this approach must be made permanent.

Download the draft collective agreement to see the complete list of demands.

Workload

Compensation of inconveniences

An inconvenience is a working condition that creates a strain. We should aim to eliminate this working condition. However, when it is impossible to avoid, a monetary compensation is paid for the inconvenience it caused.

Non-replacement and reassignment have become standard practice in personnel management in the health network. Teams must be stabilized and these measures, which only serve to “plug holes” without a real analysis of the healthcare context and patient needs, must be avoided. Managers must stop thinking that the healthcare professionals are interchangeable, regardless of the level and type of care required and without respect for the employees’ expertise.

The more it costs the employer to use these practices, the less likely they are to use them. There are other solutions for providing patient care than to make healthcare professionals work in fewer numbers and reassigning them.

Work does not decrease on weekends in 24/7 services, but the number and availability of healthcare professionals do. During the pandemic, various ministerial orders granted new amounts of money associated with being available on weekends. Double time on weekends must be maintained.

Working when everyone is on a day off is the inconvenience that healthcare professionals in 24/7 services experience. Paying time and a half for working statutory holidays better recognizes this inconvenience.

On call or on-call duty  is used to ensure that a service is available for urgent needs. This practice has started to be used to overcome labour shortages, which should not be the solution. In any case, the conditions associated with on-call duty need to be reviewed.

When talking about an inconvenience, it is impossible not to talk about the demands on mandatory overtime (MOT). This battle no longer needs an introduction, as the numerous denunciations have brought it to the forefront of the healthcare professionals’ demands. MOT goes beyond the inconvenience caused, it must be eliminated. The workload, safe healthcare professional-to-patient ratios, true workforce planning are possible solutions to end MOT. Until then, MOT should not be imposed except in exceptional and urgent situations.

Download the draft collective agreement to see the complete list of demands.

Importance of the care team

This category includes the demands emphasizing teamwork, the importance of recognizing and respecting each other’s roles, the essential recognition of training, orientation and integration in nursing and cardiorespiratory care.

Healthcare professionals work in close collaboration on several levels. It is vital to have adequate workforce planning, to no longer allow two types of healthcare professionals, one from the public sector and one from the private sector working in the public sector by eliminating the use of independent labour, adequately recognizing the role and training of all and to have an effective tool for settling disputes on task and organization of work.

Recognizing job titles, including that of licensed practical nurse team leader and clinical perfusionist assistant to the immediate superior will help correct the disputes on everyone’s roles.

Download the draft collective agreement to see the complete list of demands.

Safe healthcare professional-to-patient ratios

The FIQ has been working to obtain safe healthcare professional-to-patient ratios for more than 10 years. With its extensive research, the FIQ has become the leader of this demand. It is active on all fronts to demonstrate that ratios are the promising solution for the future of the health network. In the last few years, it has simply demanded a law on ratios.

Québec must have sufficient numbers of care teams to ensure quality, humane and safe health care. The health network is ill and healthcare professionals are overworked and exhausted. Why a law on ratios? To be able to count on a guaranteed level of health care that is not dependent on budget cuts, that does not change according to the political decisions taken by governments or those taken by healthcare institutions.

Download the draft collective agreement to see the complete list of demands.

End the code of silence - advocacy

Freedom of speech is a founding principle of all democratic societies and is dear in Québec.  The duty of loyalty to her employer is also a recognized principle in Québec labour relations. The two should not be pitted against each other when a healthcare professional wants to denounce a situation that she considers unacceptable and the employer turns a deaf ear.

It is important to protect whistleblowers, those who denounce in the collective interest.

Unionists have always denounced abuses, injustices and management practices that have harmful consequences for their members and the population. Healthcare professionals in the public health network are unionized members who care about their work and the quality of care provided to patients.

Download the draft collective agreement to see the complete list of demands.

General conditions – union rights

The recognition of union work is also important for the FIQ and FIQP. A few of the demands affect union leaves, handling of grievances, the joint committees set out in the collective agreement and respecting equity between labour organizations and are in the draft collective agreement because they are also negotiated as part of the renewal of the collective agreement.

Download the draft collective agreement to see the complete list of demands.

Members and union reps talking about our demands

Sectoral vs Intersectoral

In these negotiations with the government, the FIQ is tackling two matters: sectoral and intersectoral. Here is a summary of what these two matters contain.

Sectoral matters

The sectoral matters are those specific to our sector of activity. They are negotiated with the Ministère de la santé et des services sociaux (Ministry of Health and Social Services):

  • Holidays
  • Vacation
  • Working conditions
  • Occupational health and safety
  • Premiums

Intersectoral matters

The intersectoral matters affect all the sectors of activities (health, education, civil service, etc.). They are negotiated with the Conseil du trésor (Treasury Board) :

  • Salaries
  • Retirement
  • Parental rights
  • Regional disparities