VOLUME 11 No. 3 | FEBRUARY 9, 2021

Still fighting for COVID premiums!

We're still mobilizing to get COVID premiums for APTS members. In the next few weeks, we’ll be distributing armbands to personnel in medical imaging, radiation oncology, medical electrophysiology, nuclear medicine and medical biology labs – these employees still haven’t been granted the premiums that other categories of workers have been receiving since last spring. We urge you to wear an armband and to sign and share the petition about the premiums, which will be available on the National Assembly website until March 8.

Radio spots

We have a radio campaign coming up to highlight the issues we face at the bargaining table. Each of our three ads will air for a two-week period, from February 15 to March 28, on the same 60 stations across Québec used for our December campaign. The focus is on professional recognition, work overload, and how workforce attraction and retention problems are having a detrimental effect on services provided to Quebecers. English and French versions will air concurrently.

SSQ Insurance is now Beneva

Last year, SSQ Insurance and La Capitale joined forces to become the largest insurance mutual in Canada. The company is now operating as Beneva. The merger and new name haven’t affected our contract – your plan and coverages remain exactly the same as before. Here’s a letter from the outgoing president and the new president.

Have questions about your retirement and group insurance plans?

More than 850 members signed up for our February webinars on the RREGOP (the Government and Public Employees Retirement Plan). If you still have questions after attending, feel free to reach out to Catherine Lévesque, our social security technician. In addition to providing an overview of the RREGOP and Beneva group insurance plans, she can answer any specific questions you may have. Catherine can also calculate your estimated RREGOP retirement income. You can write to her at retraite.assurance@aptsq.com.

Petition for anti-oppressive sexual education

The APTS is supporting Coalition ÉduSex’s campaign to raise awareness about key issues affecting sexual education. The Coalition’s objectives are to:

  • increase funding to schools and community organizations for quality sexual education
  • implement adequate support measures (initial and ongoing training) for educators so they can develop the proficiency and sensitivity to address the various issues

We encourage you to join us in supporting their demand for positive, inclusive, and anti-oppressive sexual education by adding your name to the petition available on the Coalition ÉduSex website. You can sign it using your name or that of your local APTS executive.

Advisory opinion on mental health services

On February 3, the APTS presented an advisory opinion during the consultations on the mental health impacts of the pandemic and the interministerial action plan for mental health. The APTS document highlights issues such as service underfunding, the purchase of psychotherapy services from the private sector, and the staff shortage, which is particularly acute for psychologists. Rather than turning to the private sector, health and social services minister Lionel Carmant should develop effective solutions for attracting the personnel needed to provide all Quebecers with free, high-quality care. The APTS also strongly condemned the government’s strategy to manipulate waiting lists and its commitment to performance management. Finally, the document includes a warning to Minister Carmant about the problems that may arise from Québec’s program for mental disorders (Programme québécois pour les troubles mentaux)  a program that could hinder the autonomy and judgement of professionals.

Systemic racism: Joyce's Principle in the news

The APTS is firmly committed to fighting systemic racism and favours the adoption of Joyce’s Principle, which constitutes a formal request for governments to respect Indigenous law and protect Indigenous rights relative to health care and social services. While the Legault government has refused to adopt the principle, a growing number of supporters are standing behind it. You can read more on the subject in this opinion piece from La Presse.

The federal government also held meetings on how to eliminate systemic racism in the healthcare system. The CBC covered the story.

Major victory for trans and non-binary people

The Superior Court of Québec recently rendered an important decision in a legal challenge filed by the Centre for Gender Advocacy. In its decision, the Court:

  • Deemed unconstitutional the requirement that people can only be designated as either male or female.
  • Struck down the requirement to be a Canadian citizen in order to change one’s name or gender on their official documents.

More information is available on the Centre for Gender Advocacy website.