To remind the Government of Québec that negotiations for the renewal of their collective agreement are crucial and they must seriously improve their salary offers, the members of the APTS-FIQ Alliance held a symbolic action in front of the National Assembly today. “If anyone in this government still has doubts about the healthcare professionals and health and social services professionals and technicians truly holding up the network, the last few months should have convinced them. The pandemic added unbearable pressure on the personnel already pushed to the breaking point and out of resources. It has been almost a year since negotiations with the government started. Clearly, they have still not grasped how urgent the situation is. Their salary offer has been the same for months: a pitiful 5% increase over three years. For us, it is simply unacceptable”, stated the APTS and FIQ presidents, Andrée Poirier and Nancy Bédard, as one.
The two presidents stressed that the price currently paid by their members is very high. For months now, family-work-personal life balance has not existed for the personnel in the health and social service network. “131,000 people, a vast majority of whom are women, work in appalling conditions. Their physical and mental health are severely affected. Throughout this pandemic and despite the workload and long hours at work, lack of protective equipment, mandatory overtime and a very unpredictable context, our members once again answered the call. They deserve the pendulum to swing fairly the other way.” Remember that the current salary demand from the two labour organizations is 12.4% over 3 years including 7.4% in salary catch-up. “If our demand was fully deserved before the pandemic started, it is even more justified now”, both presidents said together.
The APTS-FIQ Alliance can’t say often enough that there is a correlation between improving working conditions and attracting and retaining staff, and improving the safety and access of care and services offered to the population. “The government has to understand that everyone wins: the employees will have fairer recognition of their work, the network will become more attractive for a workforce that it sorely needs, and the population will be able to count on more accessible care and services” concluded Ms. Poirier and Bédard.