Health-care workers block bridges in Quebec City, Montreal over working conditions
Move to block bridges came as a surprise to authorities, ended short time later
Health-care workers represented by FIQ, the largest nurses union in the province, blocked sections of the Jacques-Cartier Bridge in Montreal and the Quebec Bridge in Quebec City for a brief period late this morning.
Members of the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec say the pandemic is putting a strain on the health-care system and they want better working conditions.
The FIQ represents 76,000 health-care workers, including nurses and nurse practitioners. Their collective agreement expired March 31.
"We are betting that the population will understand that health-care professionals want to be able to practise their profession in humane and safe working conditions," said Nancy Bédard, president of the FIQ.
Roberto Bomba, executive officer of the FIQ, said the workload has increased phenomenally and the government doesn't seem open to discussing the problem.
He said protestors are sending the message that "things have to change once and for all."
The union wants more stable schedules, improved nurse-to-patient ratios and more full-time positions.
Health Minister Christian Dubé said last week he was optimistic the two sides could reach an agreement.