CUPE and SQEES-298, both FTQ affiliates, are jointly submitting their list of union demands today for the purpose of renewing the collective agreements of public sector employees.

“More than ever, we are committed to offering Quebeckers a universal public health care system, but the only way this can be accomplished is to ensure decent working conditions to keep workers in their jobs. We can have the best health care system in the world, but it all hinges on respect for those who are providing the services,” declared Maxime Ste-Marie, president of the Conseil provincial des affaires sociales of CUPE and Sylvie Nelson, president of SQEES-298.

One of the objectives of these negotiations is to create better working conditions by resolving the recurring problems of attracting and retaining personnel.

This list of demands is the end result of extensive consultations with workers in all sectors of the health and social services system in all regions covered by the collective agreement.

“Our members were able to express their concerns and suggest improvements to the collective agreement. We hope that the labour shortage will impress upon the employer that adjustments are needed to address the new realities confronting the workforce,” said the two union representatives.

The members pointed out that the time has come for the government to walk the talk and finally become an employer of choice once again.

The SQEES-FTQ represents 25,000 members across Quebec, mainly in the health and social services sector. It is the largest union in the private seniors’ residences sector and a leader in the unionization of workers in the social economics field, NPOs, and in the early childhood and school transportation sectors. It is affiliated with the Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec, the largest union federation in Quebec with more than 600,000 members.