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Still without a contract agreement, FIQ nurses demonstrate in Quebec City

Quebec health-care workers and members from Quebec’s nurses union (FIQ) demonstrate to demand a new contract negotiation in Montreal, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2023. (Christinne Muschi/The Canadian Press) Quebec health-care workers and members from Quebec’s nurses union (FIQ) demonstrate to demand a new contract negotiation in Montreal, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2023. (Christinne Muschi/The Canadian Press)
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Members of a major Quebec health-care union voiced their disapproval in Quebec City on Saturday, because the provincial government has yet to agree to renew collective agreements for the majority of public-sector nurses.

Julie Bouchard, president of the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec (FIQ), spoke at the rally in front of the Quebec Fine Arts Museum shortly before noon before demonstrators set off on a march to the National Assembly, where they hoped to make their demands heard.

"The CAQ is not on board when it comes to recognizing our expertise. But we're still here, ready to negotiate better working conditions in the next collective agreement - after all, that's the point of renegotiation," said Bouchard in a press release.

The FIQ represents more than 80,000 nurses, nursing assistants, respiratory therapists and clinical perfusionists working in health establishments throughout the province.

The nurses' union was not part of the inter-union Common Front, which represents 420,000 workers in the public health and education sectors. Leaders from the CSN, CSQ, APTS, and FTQ finally reached an agreement with the Legault government at the end of December. Members ratified the latest tentative settlements in February.

A month ago, the FIQ criticized Quebec's demands for "flexibility," which it said concealed a desire to forcibly relocate nurses, for example from psychiatry to surgery.

At the time, the FIQ was in negotiations and was not planning any further strike days, as was the case in November and December.

- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on March 16, 2024.

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