Montreal Gazette

Provincial government reaches deal in principle with FIQ nurses union


The 80,000-member Fédération interprofe­ssionnelle de la santé du Québec (FIQ) announced on Tuesday it has reached a proposed agreement in principle with the Quebec government.

The proposed deal is being presented to representa­tives of the locals through Thursday. If it is accepted, it will be submitted to the rank and file, who may vote on whether to accept.

FIQ president Julie Bouchard said that after 16 months of negotiatio­n, it is now up to the membership to evaluate the work done at the bargaining table. A few days ago, Bouchard said the FIQ was in a negotiatin­g blitz and the union hoped a deal was near.

The main sticking point for the FIQ during negotiatio­ns was the workplace flexibilit­y of nursing staff.

Management wanted to be able to move nursing staff from one care unit to another or even one health centre to another depending on staffing requiremen­ts.

Publicly, ministers of the François Legault government said such transfers would be voluntary, but the FIQ noted such voluntary transfers already existed in the collective agreement and contended that management was trying to make them obligatory without taking into account a nurse's expertise or experience.

Over the past few weeks, the FIQ believed the government had softened its position on transfers but was waiting to see the final wording of the contract offer before rendering a decision.

The protocols for recognizin­g the seniority of nurses who return to the public sector from the private sector had yet to be settled.

The FIQ was not part of the common front that represente­d the 420,000 public sector workers of the CSN, CSQ, APTS and FTQ and reached a deal with the government after the Christmas holidays.

The FIQ'S membership includes nurses, respirator­y therapists and clinical perfusioni­sts working in Quebec health establishm­ents.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada