Negotiations between Quebec and the FIQ | Progress, but no agreement

(Montreal) The FIQ reports progress in its negotiation with Quebec thanks to the help of the conciliator on file. But there is still no agreement within reach. Discussions will therefore continue and there is no question of other strike days for the moment.

The media truce that the conciliator had asked the parties to observe ended on Monday, in order to concentrate on the negotiation rather than on public declarations.

In an interview with The Canadian Press on Monday, the president of the Interprofessional Health Federation (FIQ), Julie Bouchard, indicated that there had indeed been progress in conciliation.

“Yes, the conciliator is really a very valuable help to us. He made progress on certain points, both the management side and us at the FIQ. He helps us in how to bring things about or even find ways of passage,” reported the union leader.

But the progress is not sufficient to evoke the possibility of a settlement, as with the inter-union common front.


Julie Bouchard

“We want to take all the time it takes,” adds Bouchard. Negotiations will therefore continue in conciliation. And the FIQ does not set an ultimatum or a precise timetable. “It remains open. » Everything will depend on the evolution of the conciliation.

“We are not at war with the government, not at all,” she insists.

The FIQ is one of three large public sector unions which have still not renewed their collective agreements, along with those of civil servants and professionals in the Quebec government.

In the meantime, there is no question of holding other days of strike.

“For the moment, there is no announcement of either sequences or days of strike, and even less of an unlimited general strike. We still have this mandate in our hands. On the other hand, we do not judge that this would be something, even today, that we could put forward, on the contrary,” summarized the union leader.


Some irritants remain in the negotiations with Quebec, including the “flexibility” required of nurses. Employers want to be able to move them between care units, health establishments, or even shifts, depending on their needs.

For nurses, doing this amounts to treating them like interchangeable pawns, without recognition of their expertise.

In its public statements, Quebec claims that this would only affect “volunteers”, but the FIQ fears that employers will force nurses if there are not enough volunteers.

Mme Bouchard also emphasizes that local collective agreements already allow such arrangements, if a nurse agrees.

“Employers can already agree with an employee for voluntary travel like this. This means that it is the obligation side, the taxation side that the government wants to have in its hands. This is where it often degenerates,” says Bouchard.

The question of ratios remains unresolved. The FIQ is calling for safe nurse/patient ratios in order to lighten the task. Quebec responds that it cannot create nurses who do not exist.

The Federation represents 80,000 nurses, practical nurses, respiratory therapists and clinical perfusionists throughout Quebec, the vast majority of them.


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