Health unions perplexed before the presentation of the Dubé reform

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Health unions puzzled ahead of presentation of Dubé reform

Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé on his arrival for a press conference on February 15 at the National Assembly

The unions in the sector of health are perplexed by the information that has leaked about the reform that Minister Christian Dubé must table in the coming days, and which must, among other things, create the Santé Québec agency.

In his edition of Monday, the daily La Presse reported more centralized collective bargaining, network management that would go in the same direction, as well as differentiated wages according to regions and shifts.

The CSQ, the FTQ, the APTS, the FIQ and the Federation of Medical Specialists of Quebec have said they want to see the bill itself before commenting on it. Several pieces of information do not seem “unclear” to them, and details are missing, said these trade unions.

Still, this possible reform will constitute “another upheaval in the health system”, while “the network is exhausted”, argued in an interview the president of the CSN, Caroline Senneville. She wonders aloud if “the game will be worth the candle”.

The union leader finds it “difficult to follow” the reasoning of the Legault government, which considers on the one hand that the minister's reform liberal Gaétan Barrette has centralized the network too much, and who, on the other hand, wants to further centralize the management of the network and the negotiation of collective agreements. “It's a bit difficult to follow, because the government sometimes talks about decentralization, that the Barrette reform had over-centralized [the health system], then itself, the government, makes gestures of centralization”, she notes.

As for differentiated wages, she recalls that it is the unions themselves that have negotiated in their collective agreements bonuses for evening and night shifts as well as remoteness allowances: the remuneration therefore already takes this into account. As for the seniority lists, she notes that her central has already merged some.