Nurses union rejects government offer on new collective agreement

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MONTREAL -- The tensions are rising in certain health-care sectors as staff run out of steam in an endless fight against the COVID-19 pandemic that's been raging for almost a year.

The Federation de la Sante du Quebec (FSQ-CSQ), affiliated with the Centrale des unions du Quebec (CSQ), called a news conference on Sunday to take stock of the negotiations for the renewal of the collective agreement of the 5,000 nurses, nursing assistants and respiratory therapists it represents.

The FSQ-CSQ announced that it was rejecting "the global settlement offer submitted by government representatives."

"The negotiations are entering a crucial stage," said FSQ president Claire Montour, and CSQ president Sonia Ethier.

Collective agreements in the public and parapublic sectors, which cover half a million state employees, have been expired since March 2020.

Earlier this week, education union members began to voice their discontent.

In education, the CSQ announced strike votes supported by 73 per cent of the teachers it represents.

-- this report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 6, 2021. 

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