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Omicron variant: Quebec pulls out the checkbook to convince its staff to work more

Quebec announces that it has reached an agreement with the unions of the health network about several measures aimed at convincing its staff to work more to face the Omicron wave.

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In place for a period of only 12 weeks, these measures are still welcomed by the unions at a time when about 20,000 health workers are absent due to the virus.

On Tuesday, the Prime Minister, François Legault, indicated that he was seeking to recruit 1,000 new workers in the health network and 1,500 for the CHSLD sector in order to compensate for the lack of personnel.

Double rate and vacation

Among the new measures deployed, it should be noted that a half-day vacation will henceforth be granted to network employees for each day worked beyond their normal week.

The government will also reimburse certain work-related expenses when an employee works overtime, for example meals or taxi coupons to return home.

Part-time workers will be remunerated at double rate for overtime worked evenings, nights and weekends, in addition to their regular working day, subject to certain conditions.

Double-rate remuneration will be granted to full-time employees who complete a 6e or a 7e working day in the same working week.

An amount of $ 100 will be granted to a part-time employee who works at least 30 hours in his or her work week and the full-time employee will be paid at double rate for a 6e or a 7e day worked in the same week.


The details of the measures for all sectors of the health and service network will be the subject of ministerial correspondence shortly, it was specified.

For several days, the Minister of Health, Christian Dubé, the Minister of Labor, Jean Boulet and the President of the Treasury Board, Sonia LeBel, had been negotiating with the unions in order to come to an agreement.

“These measures are part of the culture change that we have initiated for our health network to make it more human and efficient by offering in particular a better work-life balance,” said Christian Dubé, in a press release, Wednesday. .

The unions of the health network underlined, with one voice, that these measures “will allow to relieve in an appreciable way, but temporarily, the pressure which weighs for 22 months on the backs of the personnel of the network”.

They therefore invite Quebec to “continue discussions in the same state of mind in order to get out of the crisis situation linked to the pandemic and the lack of personnel”.

Change of tone

The president of the FSSS-CSN, Réjean Leclerc, explains that this is a change of tone on the part of the government, which has so far maintained strained relations with the unions.

For the first time since the start of the pandemic, the employees of the health network really feel listened to by the Legault government, he said.

“We underline the change of tone,” said Mr. Leclerc, hoping that this communication channel will remain open in order to resolve the long-term problems that plague the health network.

“Although the government has decided today to proceed by ministerial decree, there is a way to continue talking to each other. If it works, it is absolutely necessary to maintain the way of doing things. I think we should keep this sense of urgency in order to solve the problems. We have to keep the channels open at high levels. ”

-With the collaboration of Nicolas Lachance, Le Journal de Québec