A labour law tribunal has ordered a nurses' union in central Quebec to stop its pressure tactics, which include encouraging its members to resign en masse.

The Tribunal administratif du travail found the threat of mass resignation to be an illegal action that would be prejudicial to a service to which the population is entitled.

The tribunal noted the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec union has been planning to present the signatures of 500 nurses who are ready to resign over the Mauricie-et-du-Centre-du-Québec health authority's scheduling changes.

The decision says health workers must also stop refusing to input some data into patient files in protest against the changes, which include the obligation to work a certain number of weekend shifts.

The union has argued the decision to resign is a protected individual right that can't be forbidden.

But administrative Judge Myriam Bédard ruled that the threatened resignations are a collective action aimed at paralyzing services, and one that resembles a "disguised strike."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 26, 2023.