Hospital pharmacists are angry with the Couillard government, which has still not paid them salary increases negotiated more than two years ago.
“The pharmacists of institutions feel disrespected […] Our group was very patient and nothing justifies a day of waiting more,” denounces the president of the Association of pharmacists of Quebec health facilities ( APES), François Paradis.
More than 1,300 pharmacists have signed a petition sent to the government demanding an average amount of about $ 5,000 owed to them.
In March 2015, hospital pharmacists were the first group in the health network to reach an agreement in principle with the government. They agreed that the same percentages of increase, without knowing them, would be applicable to them as would be negotiated at the central bargaining tables.
These increases have been known since September 2016 and the other unionized employees of the network have received them, but not pharmacists.
The Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS) responds that the agreement has yet to be amended to review the management structure of pharmacy departments since the creation of CIUSSS and salary adjustments will be paid only at the moment. The amounts due will then be paid retroactively, says the MSSS.
But for Mr. Paradis, the management structure has nothing to do with salary, which will not change, he says. Then he added that the Ministry dragged its feet in this negotiation, the latter having changed five times spokesman from the beginning.
Pharmacist Audrey Séguin, said that these delays are “dissuasive” for future pharmacists, while their profession struggles to recruit. Hospital pharmacists have go to school for longer for a lower salary, she said.
“We do all the adaptation everyday [with the CIUSSS], but we refuse to give us what has been heard,” laments his colleague Jude Goulet.
“There is less time before the next negotiation [than since the signing of the current one] and we do not even have access to that money,” he says.