VOLUME 10 No. 4 | FEBRUARY 26, 2020

If the feminist cause is close to your heart

The inter-union women’s coalition (l’Intersyndicale des femmes) has created a video to promote International Women’s Rights Day and the World March of Women. The 1 min.15 sec. clip outlines the gains made by feminist movements in the fight against gender inequalities, and stresses the importance of continuing to fight to change a society that still isn’t egalitarian.

Meeting with Minister McCann

The first meeting between Minister McCann and the president of the APTS took place on February 17. Right off the bat, Andrée Poirier clearly stated her mission: to raise the profile of the indispensable work performed by professional and technical personnel. A good part of the discussions focused on occupational health and safety, violence, micro-aggressions and work overload. Our president also addressed managers’ unwillingness to listen to and work with lab personnel. In addition, she stressed the need to consult caseworkers in setting up the new mental health action plan and in developing Québec’s program for mental disorders. Andrée Poirier reiterated our concerns about the reform involving patient-focused funding, which would only aggravate professionals’ and technicians’ workload. Lastly, she briefly addressed the issue of spiritual care workers, which is currently under review by the MSSS. The stage is definitely set for future working meetings!

Are you LGBTQ+?

The APTS is teaming up with the SAVIE-LGBTQ+ partnership project (sharing life stories of LGBTQ+ inclusion and exclusion). The aim of the project is to describe LGBTQ+ employees’ experiences in various areas of their lives, including work, family, housing and social media. This study will help our union’s new LGBTQ+ committee draw up a general overview of our LGBTQ+ members’ working conditions.

If you identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or queer (LGBTQ+), you’re invited to fill out an online survey. The survey will take about 30 to 90 minutes to complete, depending on your profile. For each section you complete, you’ll have an additional chance to win one of 100 gift certificates worth $50 each. The survey is available in both French and English.

The research group will present only an anonymous summary of the results, as group averages, to the APTS and will not share any personal information.

Pharmacare now!

Over 150 organizations including the APTS released a joint statement entitled L’assurance-médicaments maintenant, calling on all federal political parties to work together to implement a universal public pharmacare plan. On February 13, a letter signed by the APTS and others was sent to Finance Minister Bill Morneau, demanding that he commit the necessary funds to pharmacare in the next budget. The joint statement is available on the APTS website.


Youth and the union activism

Laure Letarte-Lavoie, 4th APTS vice-president, hosted a workshop on union involvement and mobilization as part of the École d’hiver organized by the Institut du Nouveau Monde, which was held in Sherbrooke from February 14 to 16. The workshop is intended for people under the age of 35 and offers activities on activism and grassroots participation. “At a time when unions can be perceived as bothersome, it’s important to highlight their role as watchdogs of democracy to the younger generation,” she argued.

Applying to buy back service (RREGOP)

If you’re having trouble completing the application forms (no. 727 and 728) to buyback service under the RREGOP pension plan, contact Retraite Québec directly for quick assistance. Retraite Québec office hours: from 8 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday (Québec City region: 418-643-4881 or toll-free: 1-800-463-5533). Retraite Québec’s client service reps are trained to answer your questions promptly. A guide is also available on its website. We remind you that this provision applies to leave lasting more than 30 consecutive days, and to part-time leave without pay involving more than one day off per week.

Your employer should be able to help you in this process. If you still have questions, we’ll be happy to assist you.

Contribution to RREGOP while on leave without pay

Did you know that clause 26.05 of our national provisions enables employees to keep contributing to their RREGOP plan while on leave without pay? To do so, you have to notify your employer in writing before the start of your leave.

If you continue to contribute during your leave, management will pay its share as well. Otherwise, you’ll have the option of buying back your service once you return to work, but you’ll have to buy back both your share and your employer’s.

An accommodation measure that was wrongly suspended

An employer was ordered to pay six months’ salary to a female employee for putting an end to her temporary assignment. After suffering a serious assault, the educator had major problems with her neck. Unable to perform the duties associated with her position, she was placed on a temporary assignment. When her doctors decided that she would no longer be able to return to her position, the employer suspended her temporary assignment and her salary for the six months it took to find her another position. After the APTS challenged these actions, the arbitrator reminded the employer of his obligation to ensure reasonable accommodation: given that this accommodation did not cause the employer undue hardship, the latter had no reason to suspend the temporary assignment. The employer was thus ordered to pay the employee for salary lost.

Environmentally responsible events

The Québec ministry for the environment and the fight against climate change has put out a guide to help the public reduce the negative environmental impact of events that we organize. This guide is for organizations and any individuals who organize activities. It covers purchasing, food and serving dishes, residual materials (waste matter), communications, public awareness activities, greenhouse gases and other aspects that have ecological ramifications when events or activities are held. This type of guide can help further our thinking and our sustainable development practices.

Everything you want to know about negotiations

Have you checked out the video on the negoapts.com website? Or the webpage that gives you access to all our documents on the current round of contract talks (tracts, leaflets, datasheets and visuals to share on social media)? We welcome your comments and suggestions at nego2020@aptsq.com.

Only a few days left to sign the petition!

You still have a few days to add your voice to the petition spearheaded by 14 organizations that signed an open letter published on February 15. The petition calls for an immediate review of the Pay Equity Act, notably to enable women in the parapublic sector (whose job titles are covered by the 2010 and 2015 pay equity audit complaints) to obtain remedial salary adjustments retroactively to the date on which the changes occurred in their work.

2010 pay equity audit: the investigation is back on for complaints concerning the parapublic sector

On February 15, at a meeting with the APTS to review the 2010 pay equity audit complaints, the CNESST (Labour Standards, Pay Equity and Occupational Health and Safety Commission) reported that no settlement had been reached by January 6, 2020, the deadline for the latest period of conciliation arising from the new provisions of the Pay Equity Act adopted in 2019 (Law 4). The CNESST team responsible for investigating the union complaints and individual complaints filed in 2011 informed us that the investigation that began in 2017 would take up where it had left off when it was suspended in the spring of 2019.

The CNESST team plans to send preliminary notice of its decisions, by subject, as the investigation progresses. Employees who filed individual complaints in 2011 will be notified of the revised investigation plan. Like the union and management parties, these employees will be able to react to the preliminary notice of decisions. In 2018, the APTS sent all the necessary documentation required to support and substantiate our members’ complaints. The three commissioners will eventually hand down a single final decision.

2015 audit: a conciliation team appointed

On January 7, 2020, the CNESST appointed a new team of conciliators in accordance with Law 4, this time to address complaints contesting the employer’s 2015 pay equity audit. The time limit for this 180-day period of conciliation is July 7, 2020. Despite our doubts about the feasibility of conciliation for the 2015 complaints when the 2010 complaints have not yet been settled, the APTS accepted the CNESST team’s offer.

Information sessions for psychologists

The APTS completed a round of information sessions on psychologists’ remuneration. Over 300 psychologists took part in the meetings, which were held on January 31 in Montréal (Outaouais), February 4 in Laval (Laurentides, Lanaudière and Mauricie-Centre-du-Québec), February 6 in Québec City (Bas-Saint-Laurent, the Gaspé and Côte-Nord), and February 13 in Longueuil (Estrie, Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean and Abitibi-Témiscamingue). Discussions were frank, constructive and productive. We wish to thank all the psychologists who took part in these sessions. Their active involvement and interest were very much appreciated.

Elections at the General Council in March

At the General Council on March 24, 25, and 26, elections will be held to fill four vacant positions on each of the following provincial committees:

  • Feminist action
  • Sociopolitical action 
  • LGBTQ+ 
  • Social security 
  • Occupational health and safety and Sustainable development

All members of an APTS bargaining unit can submit their candidacies. The notice of election, candidacy form and election procedure are available in the members-only section of our website.You can also obtain the documents from your local executive or from Karine Daignault.

The period for submitting candidacies closes at 5 pm on March 10, 2020.