Determined to have their demands heard, the healthcare professionals of the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec – FIQ and those of FIQ | Secteur privé decided to be heard by disrupting the traffic on the Jacques-Cartier Bridge in Montréal and the Quebec City bridge. “It is a distress signal, both literally and figuratively, that we are sending to the Legault government once again. We were clear over the last few days: the government would be seeing healthcare professionals where they are not used to seeing them. We no longer have any choice. For too long, we have repeated on all platforms that exhaustion takes its toll on healthcare professionals and pushes them towards being sick, retirement or resignation. We have been at the bargaining table for months and our concrete proposals continue to be ignored. If our words are no longer heard, our actions should be. Today, we want all of Québec to know that we have had enough, our working conditions have to change”, stated Nancy Bédard, President of the FIQ.
By upping the tone, nurses, licensed practical nurses, respiratory therapists and clinical perfusionists wanted to make the population aware of the government’s lack of willingness in the negotiation of their collective agreement.” However, we are betting that the population will understand that the healthcare professionals want to be able to practice their profession in humane, safe working conditions. Quebecers are entitled to a public healthcare systemic where care and services are accessible. To get there, it undeniably requires improved working conditions for those who are at the heart of this network”, pointed out Ms. Bédard.
Remember that the objective of the nurses, licensed practical nurses, respiratory therapists and clinical perfusionists’ demands is for them to practice all their skills completely, on complete, stable work teams. They are demanding the right to work every day with a reasonable workload and healthcare professional-to-patient ratios.
A call to the Minister of Health
Responding to the demands of delegates meeting in a Special Provincial Council a few days earlier, the president of the FIQ invited the Minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dubé, to a public debate on the state of the healthcare professionals’ working conditions. “How is it that we are still at the stage of convincing the government that our demands are justified? I invite Mr. Dubé to a candid discussion on the media of his choice, so the population can judge for themselves the issue of the work overload, mandatory overtime and restructuring of full-time schedules. It is now time that Minister Dubé’s words transform into concrete actions”, concluded the president.