Union representing Quebec nurses submits its new contract demands

Click to play video: 'Quebec nurses’ union makes new demands ahead of contract talks'
Quebec nurses’ union makes new demands ahead of contract talks
WATCH: The union representing nurses and other health-care staff members across the province submitted their demands to the Quebec government on Monday. Pay raises and an end to mandatory overtime are some of the changes the nurses want to see in a new labour contract. Global's Tim Sargeant reports – Nov 7, 2022

Quebec’s largest union representing 76,000 nurses and respiratory therapists, the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec (FIQ) submitted its list of demands to the Quebec Treasury Board ahead of upcoming contract talks for a new collective agreement.

“We find that we’re quite reasonable. These demands come from our members,” Kristina Hoare, the vice-president of the local union representing 3,711 staff members in the West Island, told Global News.

The local union also submitted the same list to its employer, the Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux (CIUSSS) de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal Monday morning.

The wish list includes 60 demands the union hopes will be met by the Quebec government — among them, a pay raise that reflects the increases in inflation (six per cent this year) plus an additional four per cent a year for the next three years (2023, 2024 and 2025).

Story continues below advertisement

More financial compensation for work on weekends, statutory holidays and overtime work.

The union also wants consideration of a four-day workweek and the elimination of mandatory overtime and the hiring of private agencies to fill certain positions.

Breaking news from Canada and around the world sent to your email, as it happens.

“What we hope with our demands is that they bring more people from the private sector back to the public sector, which would bring forth more employees,” Hoare said.

The demands come on the heels of an independent report highlighting the lack of nurses at the Lakeshore General Hospital.

The health-care staff shortage is a chronic problem facing hospitals and medical clinics across Quebec.

Jimmy Sincere, a respiratory therapist at St. Mary’s Hospital, says the problem is putting patient care at risk.

“You can’t monitor all the patients at once. So you will look at the most critical and then you may forget another patient,” he told Global News.

Story continues below advertisement

Union leaders say offering higher salaries is one way to attract new talent to the industry.

“That’s our demand to start higher for the people who want to come into the profession,” Elizabeth Rich, a nurse, told Global News.

A spokesperson for the Treasury Board and the West Island Regional Health Authority told Global News they’re studying the demands submitted.

The government has 60 days to submit its counter-offers. The existing contract expires March 31, 2023.

Sponsored content