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Quebec plans to make private nursing agencies less attractive to retain public sector workers

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In Quebec’s latest attempt to keep nurses in the public sector, the province is expected to impose new measures that would make undercover nursing agencies work less attractive.

Nurses have said poor working conditions in the province’s public health care system have pushed them into the private sector, which offers better pay and more flexible hours.

But according to Radio Canada, this week, the government plans to force private agencies to complete less favorable shifts, such as evening, overnight and weekend shifts, a move that has left some in the health care system divided.

“It does not make sense that I have better working conditions than someone employed in the public sector, but the solution to this is not to remove those conditions that are actually holding many nurses in the profession,” said Alex Magdzinski, a private sector nurse. of the province and vice president of the Association of Nurses in Quebec.

Alex Magdzinski left the Quebec public sector to work at a private nursing agency in Nunavik due to better pay and flexible hours. (Presented by Alex Magdzinski)

Magdzinski once worked in the public sector, but he left in November 2020 to work for a private nursing agency in Nunavik, northern Quebec, because of the flexibility it offered.

He says that instead of trying to make the private system less desirable, the government should try to make the public system better.

“Looking really at what can be done with planning and flexibility in the public sector is more what the government should do instead of trying to eliminate accidents from that flexibility for their employees,” he said.

He added conditions like self-appointment, better nurse-patient ratios and no overtime work would help keep and lure nurses back into the public sector.

The union of nurses in favor, demands the ban on forced MOs

The largest union of nurses in the province, theQubec Interprofessional Health Federation(FIQ), is in favor of the government’s plan to give priority to public sector nurses, although it believes this should have happened sooner.

“It is the public sector nurses that we have sought to put their lives on the side for a long time, so it is right that we give them priority over those in the private sector,” said Patrick Guay, vice president of FIQ Me

Guay said the government’s focus should also be on eliminating forced overtime. This weekend, FIQ took matters into its own hands, with more than 30,000 of its members in a dozen regions refusing to work overtime.

The union also sent formal notices to local and provincial health authorities, giving them a November 15 deadline to eliminate the practice or to take action against FIQ.

The president of the Quebec Nurses Association, Natalie Stake-Doucet, says overtime in the public sector should be banned, adding that it is the main reason why nurses are leaving for the private sector. (Jean-Claude Taliana / CBC)

This advantage is shared by the registered nurse and president of the Association of Nurses in Quebec, Natalie Stake-Doucet, who says that overtime work is the main issue.

“[It’s] an issue with management, not come up with a shortage of nurses. It is anisu that we have had for 25 years, regardless of the number of nurses we have had in the public health care system, “she said.

Quebec Health Minister ChristianDub has said he hopes to introduce concrete measures to improve working conditions in the healthcare system this week. He said the province is looking at alternatives to mandatory overtime, but getting rid of it is not something that can happen overnight.

The province says 1,800 nurses have been hired, returned to work or relocated to full-time positions in recent weeks after the province promised financial rewards of up to $ 18,000 for some nurses. The Ministry of Health says it is discussing with some 2,400 other potential candidates.

Dubsaid nurses want to see a change of culture at work and that he is committed to making it happen.

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2/ https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-plans-new-measures-for-private-nursing-agencies-1.6214538

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