Contract talks: where we are now
Summer is coming to an end. As we go towards fall, here is the APTS update on what has been happening at bargaining tables for the renewal of public sector contracts. While negotiations have been going full tilt all summer, no concrete offer has been made.
Talks occurring over the summer allowed us to reiterate the need for concrete, negotiated solutions to reduce work overload. This is a key demand for the APTS. We have also asserted that another measure is long overdue: a method for assessing workloads, spelled out in collective agreements, and that could be based on ratios or a weighting system.
The APTS continues to insist that the Treasury Board must ramp up its efforts to attract workers to the health and social services system. Particular attention is required in environments where recruitment is difficult, such as labs, residences with continued assistance (RAC), and youth protection; staff shortages are also worrisome among psychologists and social workers. And since measures to attract personnel will not be sufficient, strong incentives will be required to retain employees in the health and social services system, preserving their valuable expertise.
Massive reinvestment is needed to improve conditions of work and practice for employees and provide the public with appropriate services. The APTS demands significant efforts on the government’s part to acknowledge the value of work carried out by health and social services employees. Specifically, we are calling for compensation that reflects the vital importance of professional and technical personnel, genuine recognition of the value of jobs, and enhanced measures to eliminate regional disparities.
One last point: premiums granted to psychologists, to people working in CHSLDs, and to people working with clients with severe behaviour disorders are due to end on September 30. The APTS has advised the Treasury Board that these premiums must be maintained until an agreement is reached, and that it will continue to fight until they are extended.