FIQ complaint to the Administrative Labor Court | Where did the billion come from after the negotiations with Quebec?

It was only after that negotiation that the government spokesman sitting at the negotiating table with the FIQ was made aware that Quebec wanted to offer nurses $1 billion more.

Posted at 3:16pm

Lia Levesque
The Canadian Press

A few weeks after reaching an agreement in principle with the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé to extend its collective bargaining agreement, Quebec announced in the summer of 2021 that it was ready to allocate 1 billion to various measures to bring nursing staff back to full-time on the network, including bonuses .

However, the FIQ had just negotiated bonuses and other measures last year to stabilize the nursing teams, create more full-time jobs and reduce forced overtime. And she had been told that the coffers were empty, that Quebec had given what it could.

Witness Réda Diouri told the court on Tuesday that between the start of negotiations with the FIQ and the signing of the collective agreement, he was never informed of the Finance Ministry’s intention to offer nurses additional sums on top of the collective agreement negotiated by the FIQ.

“The answer is very simple: no. I was not aware of any amount,” replied Mr. Diouri, who sat at the negotiating table with the FIQ as government spokesman.

The Administrative Labor Court resumed hearings on Tuesday on the FIQ’s complaint against Quebec for obstruction and malicious negotiation. CSN and CSQ have also filed complaints in this regard.

The FIQ’s complaint is based on a COVID ministerial decree offering bonuses, as well as statements by the Minister for Health and Social Affairs, Christian Dubé, in this regard.

Before Mr. Diouri admitted that he had never been made aware of this additional sum subsequently offered to Quebec nurses, Mr. Diouri had recounted the lengthy negotiations to meet the FIQ’s demands.

Several measures have been negotiated to try to reduce nurses’ workloads and mandatory overtime, increase the number of full-time positions and increase the workforce at health facilities, he said.

After months of negotiations, he managed to reach an agreement in principle with the FIQ.

However, a few weeks later, Quebec announced at a press conference that it was willing to commit $1 billion to various measures aimed at bringing full-time nurses back into the public network.

Administrative Judge Myriam Bédard will continue her hearings for a few more days.

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