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Quebec wants to settle negotiations with nurses' union 'quickly'

FIQ union president Julie Bouchard reacts to the government offers at a news conference, in Quebec City, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot FIQ union president Julie Bouchard reacts to the government offers at a news conference, in Quebec City, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
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 This time it may be the right time: the pace of negotiations between the FIQ and the Legault government will finally pick up. And Minister Sonia LeBel says she wants to settle "quickly."

Both Treasury Board President LeBel and Julie Bouchard, President of health-care union the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé, reported cordial exchanges on Monday after a meeting with Premier François Legault in Montreal.

"During the hour-long meeting, the parties didn't just touch on general issues," Bouchard said. Themes dear to nurses, such as work-family balance and safe nurse-patient ratios, were discussed, she added.

LeBel was equally determined.

"We agreed that we had to settle quickly, that it was essential for the care of the population... that (for) the network, we could find concrete solutions to give our nurses some oxygen," said LeBel.

The FIQ tabled its demands last November, and the Legault government tabled its offers to all the unions in December. Negotiations have been going on for several months. The collective agreements expired on March 31.

- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Aug. 21, 2023

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