The members of the Interprofessional Health Federation (FIQ) chose, after two days of electronic voting, to join the public sector strike movement, on November 8 and 9.
Held Tuesday and Wednesday, the electronic vote combined the position of 74% of its approximately 80,000 members, 95% of whom expressed themselves in favor of a walkout that could range from a one-day strike to an indefinite general strike.
“We are talking about nearly 60,000 professionals who have declared themselves in favor of the strike, this is unheard of. It’s a very, very strong and very telling mandate,” declared the president of the FIQ, Julie Bouchard, in a telephone interview.
“And this is a sign of the extent to which healthcare professionals can no longer stand their current working conditions and that they are ready to do anything to ensure that they have better ones, and also a better salary” , added the unionist to The Canadian Press.
In addition to salary increases, nurses are demanding an end to compulsory overtime and lower patient-to-nurse ratios.
This unique and electronic survey differs from that of the common inter-union front, which brings together the CSQ, the APTS, the FTQ and the CSN, and which consulted their members union by union over a period of four weeks. Most common front unions also supported the strike in rates approaching 90%.
Despite the strike, essential services will continue to be provided, as ordered by the Administrative Labor Court last June in anticipation of the possible labor conflict.
“Care professionals have the health of patients at heart. Their goal is to put pressure on the employer, not on the patients. Quebecers can count on the professionalism of healthcare professionals in the health network,” assured the FIQ in a press release.
In addition to the two days of strike planned for the beginning of November, the FIQ is not closing the door to continuing the walkout if negotiations with Quebec do not result in a satisfactory agreement.
“We have been at the negotiating table for almost a year and we are still faced with an employer who turns a deaf ear when we speak,” laments Ms. Bouchard. We start with two days of strike […] and we will see later if the government makes progress, if it is really ready to negotiate. »
“Our working conditions are already very difficult, what François Legault wants to do is degrade them even more by treating us like interchangeable pawns. He has no respect for our professional judgment or our personal lives,” the president also said in a statement.