A group of Quebec midwives say they are planning to protest on Monday morning during a speech that will be given by the health minister to the Montreal Board of Trade.
The province’s 200 midwives have been in talks for a new labour contract for more than two years, but they say the negotiations are taking too long.
“I think the issue mainly is really a question of not recognizing the value of what we are bringing, our specificity within the health care network,” said midwife Jessica Boulanger.
Midwives have only been recognized under the Quebec health care system for just under 20 years.
Their demands include an increase to their on-call fees from $1.50 to $2.00 an hour and they are also asking for a 4.5 per cent wage increase.
Midwives work in a wide range of settings including hospitals, birthing centres and in private homes.
Quebec Health Minister Gaetan Barrette said he agrees with nearly all of the midwives’ demands but says accountability is the only thing standing in the way of a deal.
“It is unacceptable for them to ask a government or any single-payer not to have measures regarding accountability,” he said. “They're asking us to be blind to what they're doing and this is something we do not do with anybody.”
Barrette said accountability includes productivity and quality of care but wouldn’t elaborate, saying he won’t negotiate in public.
The protest is planned for 11:45 outside of the Plaza Hotel.