This is just the beginning, say Québec nurses
Québec nurses have decided to go out for two more strike days on November 23 and 24.
On November 7 and 8, about 80,000 nurses, members of the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé (FIQ) joined picket lines across Québec, but because they are deemed essential workers there were no disruptions of essential care.
That first two day strike was the result of the impasse in contract talks with the government of the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) headed by Premier François Legault. Since there has been progress the nurses will strike again November 23 and 24.
One of the added strike days will coincide with the planned strike days of the Front Commun or Common Front of public sector unions across Québec, representing roughly 420,000 teachers and other public sector workers. The Front Commun includes the Confédération des Syndicats Nationaux (CSN), Confédération des Syndicats du Québec (CSQ), the Fédération des Travailleurs du Québec (FTQ) and the Alliance du personnel professionnel et technique de la santé et des services sociaux des Professionnel (APTS).
Essential services will be maintained in hospital and other medical facilities across the province.
The FIQ is negotiating separately from the other union centrals of the Front Commun.
« This is a strong mandate and message for the Québec government that the offers we have received at the negotiating table are unacceptable”, says Julie Bouchard, FIQ president, in a news release. “Our working conditions are very difficult, and now what François Legualt wants to do is make them worse by treating us like interchangeable parts. He has no respect for our professional judgement or our work life balance. Managers need to get ready-more strikes are coming.”
420,000 Common Front workers went out on their first strike day on Monday November 13 and announced that they will go out again on the 21, 22 and 23 of November unless an agreement is reached.
That means the 80,000 Nurses will be out along with the 420,000 Common Front workers on November 23, all at the same time.