We are excited to launch the Negotiating Committee’s blog. We will write about our experiences, perceptions, impressions, and sometimes our opinions about what is happening with the healthcare professionals’ provincial negotiations.
As members of the FIQ and FIQP, you will be the focus of the collective agreement negotiation process. Through this blog, you will be able to hear about the Negotiating Committee’s day-to-day.
In our own way, we will show you another side of this journey.
Besides our passion for the union cause, improving working conditions in the health network is very important to us. We are hoping for a tentative agreement that will bring together all of the job titles we represent. Our members have high expectations because the health network is dysfunctional. Consequently, we have an important mission and a lot of work ahead, but we are very proud to be part of this great journey.
In this first blog entry, we will first introduce ourselves and explain the negotiation structure.
Who are we?
The Negotiating Committee members were elected at the Provincial Council in March 2019.
We would like to thank Sébastien Bouchard from the Quebec Heart and Lung Institute for his knowledgeable and enthusiastic participation in the last year. In March 2020, Ridza Cléophat took over for him.
We have complementary backgrounds, which is a great mix for representing the 76,000 healthcare professionals at the FIQ and FIQP.
- Ridza Cléophat: Licensed practical nurse at the CIUSSS de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal. Union representative since 2011 at the United Healthcare Professionals (UHCP) union. Member of the Negotiation Committee in 2015. Vice-President of Task and Organization of Work and Negotiations at the Syndicat des professionnelles en soins de santé de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal since April 2017.
- Véronique Foisy: Nurse Clinician at the CIUSSS de l’Estrie – CHUS. Union representative since 1997 and 1st Vice-President for negotiations at the Syndicat des professionnelles en soins des Cantons-de-l’Est since 2017. Elected member of the last three FIQ negotiating committees: in 2005, 2010 and 2015.
- Isabelle Groulx: Respiratory therapist at the CISSS de la Montérégie-Ouest. Union representative since 2003. Vice-President of Jardins-Roussillon at the Syndicat des professionnelles en soins de la Montérégie-Ouest and in charge of the Social security component. Member of the FIQ’s Occupational Health and Safety Committee since 2011 and member of the board of directors of the Association paritaire pour la santé et la sécurité du travail du secteur affaires sociales (ASSTSAS).
- Nagia Idel Mehdaoui: Nurse Clinician, Consultant in James Bay. President of the Syndicat nordique des infirmières et infirmiers de la Baie-James from 2016 to 2019.
- Jean-Philippe Landry: Nurse Clinician, Assistant-Head-Nurse at the Institut de cardiologie de Montréal. Union representative since 2011 and President of the Syndicat des professionnelles en soins infirmiers et cardiorespiratoires at the Institut de cardiologie de Montréal since 2014.
How does the negotiation structure work?
Our current negotiation structure is very different from that used in previous negotiations, in part because we are a smaller team. There are 5 of us union reps who are on a full-time assignment as opposed to the 13 in 2005 and the 11 in 2015.
The FIQ’s Negotiating Committee includes:
- 2 union consultants dedicated to the intersectoral component (salary, retirement, parental rights and regional disparities, negotiated as an alliance with the APTS);
- 2 union consultants dedicated to the sectoral component (FIQ and FIQP members’ working conditions);
- 1 spokesperson at the bargaining tables;
- 1 coordinator of the Negotiation Sector;
- 5 elected union reps from the Negotiating Committee;
- 2 elected members of the Provincial Executive Committee, Political Officers for Negotiations.
Negotiating Committee decisions are made by consensus. When necessary, decisions are put to a vote. It is the representatives elected by the FIQ members (the members of the Negotiating Committee and the members of the Provincial Executive Committee) who decide because they each have a vote.
We regularly participate in the Negotiation Council’s meetings. The council is made up of 34 union reps, one from each affiliated union, one respiratory therapist rep and one clinical perfusionist rep. It is another very important part of the new structure that really helps with our work.
We have had several meetings with the Negotiation Council in person, but due to the COVID-19 confinement, we had to start meeting and discussing negotiations virtually.
We have had to adapt to the limitations that come with the COVID-19 pandemic, but the main part of our work is now being done in person at the FIQ’s Montreal office.
In an upcoming blog post we will be able to give you a virtual guided visit of the offices and tell you about the somewhat strange last few months.