APTS-FIQ delegates reject the government’s proposals
23 janvier 2020
Québec City – Close to 800 union delegates from the APTS-FIQ alliance voted unanimously to reject the Québec government’s proposals at the intersectoral bargaining table, in talks to renew the collective agreements of the 131,000 members they represent in health care and social services.
“A surge of anger swept over our delegations when presented with the dismissive proposals filed by the Treasury Board last December. Despite the unprecedented crisis in public health care and social services, with public-sector employees working themselves sick and struggling to provide secure, accessible, high-calibre care and services, the government finds nothing better to do than add fuel to the fire, aggravating our members’ frustration and dissatisfaction. The response was blistering! Christian Dubé’s insulting proposals were unanimously rejected by our respective decision-making bodies,” declared the union alliance’s presidents, Andrée Poirier for the APTS and Nancy Bédard for the FIQ.
To symbolically illustrate their exasperation, the union delegates gathered in front of the National Assembly and ran the government’s contract proposals through a shredder to show that they’re not worth the paper they’re printed on.
“The government’s proposals lag behind its forecast wage growth, growth in public revenues and growth in household income. They don’t even keep up with inflation. That’s how little regard the government has for public-sector employees in health care and social services. It tells those who are at the heart of our public system – i.e., our members – that they’re doomed to put up with unbearable working conditions and work themselves sick,” decried Ms. Poirier and Ms. Bédard.
But this is not just about salaries. The government proposals are equally anemic (or vacuous) on crucial issues such as our retirement plan, parental rights and regional disparities. In fact, the government doesn’t seem to want to tackle the issue of retaining and attracting personnel, which is now a full-blown problem wracking the public system.
“The government has a duty to bring proposals to the bargaining table that are respectful and that recognize the work performed by healthcare professionals and health and social services professionals and technicians. The president of the Treasury Board should mark our words: we’re done working ourselves sick!” concluded the two union presidents.