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Nurses stay overnight at steps of Quebec premier's office demanding better pay

On Saturday, thousands of union members across disciplines formed a common front and marched through the streets of Montreal. On Sunday, members of the Interprofessional Lanaudière Health Union (FIQ-SIL) launched their own demonstration in front of the constituency office of Quebec Premier Francois Legault in L'Assomption, Que.

Many spent the day at his office doorstep, and several of them set up camp to stay the night, with plans to march through the streets of the municipality Monday morning.

FIQ-SIL President Marie-Chantal Bédard says the round-the-clock demo reflects the working reality of nurses.

“It's significant to tell the government, to tell the population, that you need healthcare professionals, and that while you sleep, while you celebrate with your families, we are there 24 hours a day, all seven days of the week, and we want to continue to be there to provide care to the population,” said Bédard.

The union says negotiations have not met its expectations. For its part, the government says unions need to show some flexibility in their demands.

In Lanaudière, Bédard fears an exodus of health workers could follow the next collective agreement if the government doesn’t offer better working conditions.

-- More to come 

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Sept. 24, 2023 Top Stories

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