Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press FIQ President Julie Bouchard during a demonstration on November 7 in front of the offices of the Treasury Board
Because it finds that the negotiations with Quebec are not progressing sufficiently, a body of the Interprofessional Health Federation (FIQ) has just adopted a mobilization plan which provides for an escalation in the means of pressure.
The extraordinary national council of the union organization has just adopted this mobilization plan. It will now be submitted to the general meetings of the members, who will decide “in the coming weeks”, indicated the president of the FIQ, Julie Bouchard, in an interview with The Canadian Press on Monday.
The plan calls for an escalation in pressure tactics — starting with holding booths and handing out leaflets, to actions like “protesting in significant and inconvenient places,” ceasing to perform non-care-related tasks , not renewing permits to practice, organizing sit-ins, sending bulk resignation letters.
< b>The nurses of the FIQ reject the “disconnected” offer from Quebec
The gradation of the means of pressure will follow “the state of the negotiation table”, specified Ms. Bouchard.
It is also within this framework that the FIQ, which represents 80,000 nurses, licensed practical nurses and other healthcare professionals, adopted its new slogan: “There are limits”.
The collective agreements of public and parapublic sectors, which apply to more than 600,000 workers, expire on March 31. However, Ms. Bouchard claims to have proposed 28 negotiation dates to Quebec, which would have retained only 4.
The president specified that since the beginning of the year, there have only been two negotiation sessions for the FIQ. “And it wasn't real negotiation” on specific points, but rather “exchanges”, she explains. The third meeting will take place on Friday.
However, the FIQ submitted its demands on November 7 and the government its offers on December 15, 2022.
Quebec ready to negotiate
Nevertheless, Quebec says it is ready to negotiate and instead points the finger at the unions. Again recently, Premier François Legault invited the FIQ to show flexibility.
And last week, during several interviews and press briefings, the Minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dubé, said the unions “should come and sit with us” and with his Treasury colleague, Sonia LeBel.
The FIQ suspects Quebec of wanting to “buy time” with its discussion forums, in which it wants the unions to participate, in parallel with the negotiation of collective agreements. However, both the FIQ and the common front, which represents 420,000 workers, refuse to do so, affirming that the problems and the solutions are already known and that it is necessary instead to take concrete action and negotiate clauses accordingly in the agreements. collectives.
“These points [contained in the discussion forums] are already in our demands,” said Ms. members of the FIQ who took more or less 30 minutes to answer what they would like to have for attraction and retention, to improve their working conditions in the health network”.
“Since last week, the government has tried to make us negotiate in the public square, while they are the ones who refuse to negotiate,” criticizes Ms. Bouchard. “He wants to make us bear the odious” of the negotiations which are not progressing, believes the union leader – hence the mobilization plan in stages.