Héma-Québec denies the statements made by the nurses at its Quebec City collection centre and reiterates its desire to negotiate with them for the renewal of their collective agreement

SAINT-LAURENT, November 21, 2001 - HEMA-QUEBEC is currently renegotiating the collective agreements with nine of its unions. Currently, eight of the nine unions are pursuing their discussions at two negotiating tables. During these meetings, moreover, HEMA-QUEBEC opted to promote a negotiating stance based on partnership with employees rather than confrontation. This option is well in keeping with HEMA-QUEBEC's mandate to draw closer to the population of Quebec and offer donors the best services possible. To date, eight of the nine unions at HEMA-QUEBEC, representing 90% of its unionized employees, are in agreement with this approach.

However, negotiations on the collective agreement with the nurses at HEMA-QUEBEC's Quebec City collection centre, represented by the only union to have declined to join the two current negotiation tables, were suspended following the conciliation meeting on September 13, 2001. At this conciliation meeting, HEMA-QUEBEC made offers concerning the organization of work (increased number of full-time nurses, better adapted and less inconvenient work schedule) and retroactivity on salaries (as offered to the eight other unions currently in negotiations). All these points were rejected by the union representatives. Furthermore, conciliation meetings scheduled for October were cancelled by the FIIQ and SPIIQ representatives. HEMA-QUEBEC reiterates its desire to negotiate with them for the renewal of their collective agreement.

In conclusion, HEMA-QUEBEC apologizes to the population for any inconvenience this situation may cause and wishes to reassure them that essential services will be maintained in the event of a conflict and that the safety and quality of the blood supply is assured.

- 30 -