Health and social services | repeat offender government is targeted by new complaints

August 22, 2022

Image Health and social services | repeat offender government is targeted by new complaints

Montréal – Labour organizations representing health and social services employees have once again been compelled to file complaints denouncing the fact that the government has been obstructing union activities. Stubbornly committed to acting alone, the government has bypassed unions over the past few months and refused to negotiate with them to improve the situation in the health and social services system.

The new set of complaints filed under Section 12 of the Labour Code is intended to denounce summer measures unilaterally implemented by the government over the past weeks. One of the issues is the fact that double time compensation for overtime is granted only on certain conditions. Last May, labour organizations reached out to the minister to agree on measures that would make it possible to get through the summer, at a time when employees are overworked and lack of personnel is having a significant and recurring impact on the system. The government refused to hold discussions with the unions, and measures involving various conditions were finally imposed on July 21.

It’s worth noting that labour unions recently achieved a major legal victory as a result of challenging ministerial order 2021-071. Under this order, significant bonuses were given subject to conditions that disqualified healthcare professionals, and this despite the fact that agreements in principle for the renewal of collective agreements had been reached with unions a few weeks earlier.

Labour unions are demanding that the government stop obstructing union activities and that it negotiate any measures taken to end the crisis affecting the system. And because the government is a repeat offender, the unions are also asking for punitive damages.

“The government has been rapped over the knuckles,” say representatives of the FSSS-CSN, FSQ-CSQ, FIQ and FIQP, SQEES-FTQ, CUPE Québec, APTS, FP-CSN and SPGQ. “The tribunal has stated very clearly that it must stop obstructing union activities and behaving in an authoritarian way. We’ve filed these new complaints so that things will change for people working in health and social services. The government has been determined to do exactly as it pleases since the beginning of the pandemic, and it’s now very clear that this just doesn’t work. The government needs to acknowledge that it’s time to listen to solutions put forward by employees.”