Nurses back down on plans to halt compulsory overtime this weekend
Health-care workers block access to the Jacques Cartier bridge during in protest over stalled contact negotiations with the provincial government in Montreal, on Monday, October 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
MONTREAL -- The members of the Quebec Interprofessional Healthcare Federation (FIQ) are giving up their 48-hour action without compulsory overtime (temps supplementaire obligatoire, TSO), which was to take place on the weekend (Oct. 24 and 25).
In a news release sent early Friday, FIQ president Nancy Bedard explained that the union delegates have decided to accept the hand extended the day before by Treasury Board president Sonia LeBel.
Minister LeBel said at a media scrum that she wanted to quickly find solutions to improve the working conditions of health-care professionals. She stressed that she wanted to address the work overload, make full-time positions attractive and tackle the issue of mandatory overtime.
However, the FIQ president hopes that these commitments by the minister will materialize quickly because the union's patience is running short.
While LeBel was speaking to the media Thursday, the FIQ was preparing for a hearing before the Administrative Labour Tribunal at the end of the day because of the announced refusal from nurses to work compulsory overtime.
The management negotiating committee feared that the services normally provided to the population would be compromised if the nurses only worked regular hours.
The FIQ already used this tactic on April 8, 2019 and for 24 hours, from Nov. 15 to 16.
-- this report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 23, 2020.