Meeting in a Special Federal Council, the delegates of the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec–FIQ unanimously rejected the government’s offers made on October 29, 2023.
The government's proposal completely ignores the problems repeatedly expressed by nurses, licensed practical nurses, respiratory therapists and clinical perfusionists. The anger aroused by the employer’s offers was unequivocal: disappointing, inadequate and insulting were the adjectives used by the union representatives.
“At a time when the health network is falling apart, when professionals are sacrificing their physical and mental health to provide care to patients, and when the quality of that care is in jeopardy, this proposal demonstrates the government's lack of respect for a workforce made up mainly of women.”, stated Julie Bouchard, President of the FIQ.
The government insists on worsening care conditions
The most revolting aspect for the FIQ members is that the government stubbornly insists on wanting to be able to reassign healthcare professionals from an institution or speciality whenever it wants, without respecting their professional judgment or their personal life. “Minister LeBel says that she doesn’t want to force anyone to be reassigned on her shift, but that’s not what she said to us at the bargaining table.
The employer party maintains that it will start by asking for volunteers. If no one volunteers or there are not enough, then a reassignment would be imposed. That will only push more healthcare professionals towards the exit.”, explained Jérôme Rousseau, Vice-President and joint officer for the negotiations.
Strike on November 8 and 9, 2023
Healthcare professionals across Québec will hold two days of strike next week, on November 8 and 9. This strike is made necessary by the government’s inability to listen to the FIQ’s recommendations and demands.
Reminder: no shortage of healthcare professionals in Québec
The Federation would like to point out that there have never been so many qualified healthcare professionals in Quebec: some 82,000 nurses, nearly 30,000 licensed practical nurses, more than 4,500 respiratory therapists, nearly a hundred clinical perfusionists. What’s missing are healthcare professionals ready to work in the public network’s difficult conditions.
“For decades we have been caught in a vicious circle of neglect in investing in health care. Instead of getting the message and turning around, the government persists in wanting to make our conditions even worse by sending us anywhere, anyhow. We're telling you, Mr. Legault, the path you're stubbornly pursuing is downright dangerous for patients, and that's why you're going to find the FIQ in your way.”, concluded Nathalie Levesque, Vice-President and joint officer for the negotiations.
About the FIQ
The FIQ represents over 80,000 nurses, licensed practical nurses, respiratory therapists and clinical perfusionists who work in healthcare institutions province wide. It is a feminist organization with an almost 90% female membership, dedicated to defending its members and the patients in the public health network.