We would have preferred to hold fruitful discussions with the Treasury Board Secretariat and tackle key issues like work overload, working conditions, and measures to attract and retain personnel in public health and social services, which are central to our demands.
Instead of giving you the consideration you deserve, the government is disregarding our legitimate demands on salary and working conditions.
On Monday, the Legault government got its deputy minister for health and social services, Lionel Carmant, to announce new funds to help weather the mental health crisis. In the same breath, the deputy minister again announced that the government would turn to the private sector to bridge gaps in public health and social services.
It’s galling to see history repeat itself, in each successive crisis and each successive round of public-sector bargaining. It’s galling to see the Treasury Board still give our demands short shrift more than a year after we tabled them.
It’s even more galling that after all our efforts to define priorities in our demands, the government and its press secretary, Sonia Lebel, keep harping about how we still haven’t done enough.
The government’s refusal to consider a reasonable number of demands, when it’s clearly able to develop multiple programs and draw on hundreds of millions of dollars in this crisis, is insulting to those who’ve been running themselves ragged for years to keep the public system going.