The FIQ torn by the agreement in principle

The vote was heartbreaking Thursday at the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec (FIQ), where the proposed agreement in principle concluded with Quebec was ratified by the delegates by 53%.

“This is not an agreement that will bring staff back into the network. We are killing our health system. After all the years of the pandemic, this is very little recognition,” he told The Press the president of the Union of Healthcare Professionals of Montérégie-Ouest, Mélanie Gignac.

The agreement does not bring major gains, she maintains. “When you have to fight to keep what you’ve already been given before, it’s not a gain, it’s just the status quo.” His union will still present the agreement in principle to its members.

“There was almost no feeling of belonging, but with an agreement like this, there will no longer be a feeling of belonging,” she adds. She fears that having obtained an agreement in principle after the other unions has harmed them. “Negotiating with us at the end, it was like someone put a knife to our throat. »

Several local unions also expressed their disappointment with the agreement. The union of healthcare professionals of the Eastern Island of Montreal will not recommend to its members to vote in favor of the agreement in principle.

“The concessions related to flexibility are not adapted to the reality of Montreal and do not take into account the expertise of the healthcare professionals that we represent. For us, this is simply unacceptable,” he told The Press the president of the union, Denis Cloutier.

The union of healthcare professionals of the Capitale-Nationale also expressed its dissent from the adoption of the agreement. “We were unable to agree with its content,” the president, Caroline Gravel, told its members.

The agreement will be presented to members at local general meetings. The voting period will be held on April 10, 11 and 12. “We believe we have negotiated an offer that reflects and respects the specificities of the daily lives of our members,” declared Thursday evening the president of the FIQ, Julie Bouchard, in a press release.

17.4% over 5 years

Like the Common Front, the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec (FIQ), which represents some 80,000 nurses, practical nurses, respiratory therapists and clinical perfusionists, will obtain salary increases of 17.4% over 5 years, if The agreement in principle is accepted by the members. Agreed premiums have also been negotiated for critical periods, namely during the holidays and summer.

The agreement in principle also provides for the supervision of “mandatory overtime” (TSO), which should only be used in cases of emergency, funds dedicated to catch-up surgery, the gradual implementation of ratios, the gradual elimination of the use of independent labor and the prioritization of healthcare professionals from the public health network in the choice of schedules.

“(The OST) is already very present in our circles and I do not believe that it will disappear overnight. It’s already supposed to be an emergency measure, but it’s always used as a first resort,” laments a nurse from Saguenay, who preferred to keep her name quiet for fear of reprisals. “To be continued, but in light of what I see, could (the agreement) have been better? Yes. Will I vote for it? No. »

“A disguised way” of moving employees

Few details have filtered out on “flexibility”, a bone of contention between the FIQ and Quebec for weeks. The union opposed the idea of ​​forcing nurses to change establishments or care units to compensate for staff shortages. For its part, the government assured that the trips would be done on a voluntary basis.

The agreement ultimately provides for “maintenance of acquired skills during voluntary travel,” indicates the FIQ in its press release.

Mélanie Gignac from the Montérégie-Ouest union explains, however, that certain activity centers will be modified, in order to include several departments from different establishments. “Since it will be the same center of activity, there will no longer be travel, so the employer will be able to put us wherever he wants on the schedule. It’s simple: it’s a disguised way of making the health system with mobile teams, but with a nomenclature cute so that it goes well,” she laments.

David Allard, auxiliary nurse at the CHU de Québec – Université Laval, is sad that there is nothing at the moment to attract or retain nursing staff, nor about work/family balance. “I consider that our union undoubtedly lost the negotiation, because it had all the trump cards in its cards, but it came up against a stubborn government which does not see any advantages in improving nursing working conditions. All the FIQ seems to have done is limit losses. »


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