VOLUME 9 No. 5 | MARCH 13, 2019

More than 7 local negotiations still underway

Our teams have concluded a 12th tentative agreement, this time in the Gaspé on March 1, after a series of long and arduous bargaining and mediation sessions. Seven local teams are still in a state of uncertainty about the outcome of this laborious process and are striving to arrive at an agreement offering better working conditions for their members. With votes of 95% or more in favour of ratification in institutions where APTS assemblies have been held, there is definitely reason to hope that members are giving local negotiations a positive report card.

What we expect from the new law

On February 26, the APTS presented its brief to the parliamentary committee on Bill 10, An Act to amend the Pay Equity Act, after the ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada in May 2018 forced the government to amend the law. You can browse the summary in our press release or read the brief itself. In a video clip, Minister Boulet explains his vision of retroactive payment that comes after the pay equity audit process – a vision that the president of the APTS advised him not to share!

New online newsletter

The 8th issue of the Pay Equity and Salary Relativity Newsletter is available in French in the members-only section of our website. The English version will follow soon. It gives an update of recent developments concerning the new draft legislation, pay equity audits, salary relativity and changes to the List of job titles. If your job title is currently under study, the index will show you where to find information in the newsletter that concerns you.

Pharmacare: Ottawa shouldn’t imitate Québec 

In the context of work carried out by the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare, a number of Québec organizations including the APTS pressed the federal government to set up a bona fide public, universal pharmacare plan. We highlighted the fact that it would be a mistake to model this plan on Québec’s hybrid system that has resulted in skyrocketing costs. A press conference was held in Ottawa on Friday, March 1, 2019. The main arguments in our presentation are found in an open letter published by Le Droit.

Amending labour standards – time off for family responsibilities (continued)

We recently informed you of amendments to the Labour Standards Act that enable employees to receive remuneration for the first two days of absence for family responsibilities. So far, employers are refusing to pay these two days under the pretext that compensation for these two days is already covered by the annual bank of sick leave for full-time employees, and by payment of fringe benefits for part-time employees. If you’re facing this kind of situation, contact your local executive. The outcome isn't guaranteed in advance, but the APTS will fight for you.

Leave for family responsibilities can be used to meet obligations associated with your child’s or your spouse’s child’s health, education or child care, or with a relative’s health. It can also be used for obligations to act as an informal caregiver. You have to notify the employer of your absence as promptly as possible and take reasonable measures to limit such time off. A document attesting to the reasons for the absence may also be requested by the employer.

Clinical activities specialists are now unionized

The employer refused to acknowledge that 13 employees working as clinical activities specialists were part of a bargaining unit held by the APTS, in a risk management committee. Management claimed that they were employer representatives as they acted as the eyes and ears of management, exercised moral authority and were mandated to oversee and assess the skills and practices of personnel as a whole. The judge dismissed these claims and recognized these employees’ right to be unionized, as they didn’t in fact have the kind of hierarchical or administrative authority that employer representatives would have over employees.

March 14 from 5 to 7 pm: How relevant is feminism in 2019?  

The APTS team at the CHUM is organizing a supper conference with Lili Boisvert, journalist, author and well-known television host, on the relevance of feminism in 2019. When a number of rights have been won by women, is there still a place for feminism? Are demands to improve women’s rights still relevant, or are they excessive? The guest speaker thinks that there is still much work to be done to achieve equality between men and women in all spheres of society. The doors open at 4 pm at the Agora on the 5th floor of the research centre at the CHUM. A supper will be offered as of 5 pm, and the conference will start at 6 pm.

Student demonstration on climate change  

On March 15, young people from here and other parts of the world are gearing up for a one-day student strike. This collective action is aimed at exhorting our political leaders to take immediate steps to curb global warming. The APTS invites its members to take part in the demonstration on a voluntary basis. Those who want to join the demonstration in Montréal or Québec City will find more information on Facebook.

Other rallies are also being organized in the Outaouais region and in the cities of Baie-Comeau, Chicoutimi, Gaspé, Magog, Mont-Laurier, Sherbrooke, Trois–Rivières and Warwick. 

International symposium on ethics and social work  

On March 5, 6 and 7, the international symposium on “ethics and social work: new avenues of thought and action” was held at UQAM. On March 6, the entire day was devoted to ethical questions on the use of digital technologies in social work and on the organization and governance of social work. Problems stemming from the forced use of the OCCI tool (computerized clinical treatment pathway) were raised by participants, as were the findings of a study in which the APTs took part, which was headed by Mélanie Bourque and Josée Grenier, examining the impact of managerial transformations on social workers. For more information on this symposium, you can check out the program.