A stop in front of the Direction de la santé publique on Sherbrooke Street East in Montreal on February 19, 2021 as part of the “Toujours debout” tour. Photo CUPEThe Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec (FTQ) and its public sector affiliates (CUPE, SQEES-298, SEPB, UES 800) are mobilizing to salute workers in the health care, education and social services sectors, who are still on duty in spite of the pandemic.

On February 19, activists toured about thirty or so establishments across Quebec as part of the “Toujours debout” (Still Standing) tour to pay tribute to health care education and social services workers. They have been without a contract since March 31, 2020.  

As this year begins, our organizations are still awaiting bona fide proposals from the government and the Conseil du trésor to come up with our collective agreements. Unfortunately, the latter is still refusing to budge from its financial framework in spite of the realistic and acceptable demands we have made to make improvements to working conditions, personnel retention and attraction and compensation.

“Toujours debout” very aptly describes the workers we represent, because in spite of fatigue, exhaustion and trying working conditions, they are still on the job and ready to offer their services to the public in the area of health care, education and social services. Quebec must come to realize that workers cannot be attracted and retained without acceptable working conditions. The future of public services is at stake, and everyone must be aware of this.