Meeting virtually in a Special Provincial Council – Negotiations on Thursday evening for an update on the negotiations, the delegates of the Fédération interprofessionnelle en soins du Québec – FIQ and FIQ | Secteur privé decided to cancel their 48 hours without forced labour action scheduled for October 24 and 25. “While we were at the Administrative Labour Tribunal (TAT) following a request for intervention by the Comité patronal de négociation du secteur de la santé et des services sociaux (CPNSSS), the president of the Treasury Board, Sonia Lebel, spoke to the media to tell healthcare professionals that she has heard their message and wants to find solutions quickly for improving their working conditions. She pointed out that she wants to resolve the work overload, make full-time positions attractive and address the mandatory overtime (MOT) problem. We are accepting her outstretched hand in good faith and if she has really understood the healthcare professionals’ message, we hope that this translates into some hours at the bargaining table. Ms. Lebel and her government will be accountable for these public statements. The president of the Treasury Board has to put her commitments into action quickly, as our patience is limited! Her negotiators must be ready to negotiate day and night with clear mandates and hence really focus, as she said this morning, on the critical issues,” stated Nancy Bédard, president of the FIQ.
For the FIQ and FIQP, the special actions the last few days waged by the nurses, licensed practical nurses, respiratory therapists and clinical perfusionists have achieved their objective: force the government to move so that the discussions at the bargaining table are on the issues really affecting them and will significantly improve their working conditions. “At the heart of these negotiations is the workload issue and that of healthcare professional-to-patient ratios, especially in the CHSLDs. Without these steps forward, it is unthinkable to attract new healthcare professionals, keep those who are working like crazy for years now and get those who have chosen to leave the network exhausted, to come back. We hope that Ms. Lebel has truly understood the urgency of the situation”, pointed out Jérôme Rousseau, Vice-President and joint officer for the negotiations.
It is also important to remember that the ongoing pandemic has hit the health network hard and there is great pressure on the healthcare professionals. “Managers over impose forced labour (mandatory overtime). No other employer would be entitled to use such power over the lives of their employees. We will continue our fight to get this management method to disappear from the health network”, continued Roberto Bomba, Treasurer and joint officer for the negotiations.
The FIQ and FIQP delegates have already decided to meet again soon to take stock of the situation. “Until then, we will continue to make our voice heard,” concluded Ms. Bédard.
Crédit photo : JACQUES BOISSINOT /THE CANADIAN PRESS