VOLUME 12 No. 2 | JANUARY 24, 2022

Ministerial order 2022-003:
everything you need to know

Since January 16, the government has introduced measures to recognize the work of technicians and professionals in health and social services, who have been grappling with major work overload. These enhanced measures, which echo our union’s repeated demands, offer salary incentives and programs providing support and protection for employees during the pandemic.

For details on these measures and how they are applied, see the COVID page on our website.

The APTS is still working to extend these measures to as many people as possible, so it’s a good idea to check the webpage regularly for updates.

COVID-19 deaths in CHSLDs:
how to reform the system

On January 18, the APTS presented its final arguments at coroner Géhane Kamel’s hearings on deaths in CHSLDs during the first wave of the pandemic. Our presentation stressed the basic principles we need to follow to avoid another crisis. "There was a systemic problem," explained 1st APTS vice-president Josée Fréchette. "To reform the system and make sure it doesn't crash again, we need to find a way out of the crisis that is based on solidarity, prevention, accountability, and full acknowledgement of the mistakes that were made during the first wave."

For more on our arguments and how we plan to put these values into practice, read our press release and watch this  Noovo broadcast about the CHSLD hearings (in French). 

CHSLDs in the first wave: Commissioner Castonguay in sync with the APTS 

The APTS applauds the recommendations put forward by the Health and Welfare Commissioner, Joanne Castonguay, in her report assessing the care and services provided to seniors during the first wave of COVID-19. Like the APTS, she finds it imperative that we rethink the entire health and social services system and put an end to working in isolation and fixating on hospital-centred care. The focus has to be on providing a continuum of care and services, and making sure that prevention and people’s well-being are the core priorities. This transformation requires a major reinvestment in the public system, to recruit and retain the necessary human resources. And that means improving working conditions and conditions of practice.

For details, see our press release and the summary of the commission's report (in French) entitled Le devoir de faire autrement (The duty to do things differently).

What is artificial intelligence (AI)?

Where does modern AI come from? What is machine learning? What are Turing Tests for? After the first factsheet in our AI in Focus series, which covered various key concepts, our second factsheet (in French) addresses some of the technical questions you may have as AI gains ground in your workplace. The English version will be available soon.

Major victory for mothers who lose their jobs

The provisions of the Employment Insurance Act restricting EI eligibility for mothers who lose their jobs during or after maternity leave constitute discrimination based on gender. That's what the social security tribunal concluded in the case filed by Mouvement Action-Chômage de Montréal (which had the support of the APTS). We hope to see the Act amended as soon as possible so that equity is ensured. For more on this major victory, read our press release (in French).


SURVEY | Undervaluing predominantly female jobs

A group of researchers at Université de Laval and Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières are conducting a study on the phenomenon of undervaluing predominantly female jobs. Based on their findings, they will be recommending concrete steps to ensure fairer recognition of the value of these jobs in a variety of fields and settings, at the social, organizational and societal levels.

Whatever your gender or your occupation, we invite you to fill out this 20-minute survey (in French) to help identify the consequences of undervaluing these jobs. We thank you in advance for your assistance.  

Understanding and preventing musculoskeletal disorders

To avert musculoskeletal disorders, prevention is key. This video produced by the APTS in collaboration with ergonomist Claude Rousseau highlights early warning signs, risk factors and preventive measures. Further details are available on our factsheet (in French).


Pre-budget consultations: tell the government what matters to you

The 2022–2023 budget is fast approaching, and the government just launched its pre-budget consultations. These consultations give us a real opportunity to help protect the health and social services system, promote social justice and fight climate change, so we encourage you to fill out the government’s questionnaire. Given the somewhat leading questions, don’t hesitate to express yourself freely when there are open-ended questions or comments.

Black History Month

February is Black History Month, an opportunity to highlight the histories and far-ranging contributions of Black communities in Québec. We invite you to take part in activities marking Black History Month and check out the events in your region that the following organizations are planning, starting February 1:

$14.25 minimum wage: another missed opportunity

Raising the minimum wage by a meagre 75 cents was yet another missed opportunity for the Legault government to fight poverty, promote economic recovery and concretely address labour shortage issues, according to the Coalition Minimum 18 $. As things stand, one out of every ten Québecers can't afford the basic necessities. That’s why the Coalition (which includes the APTS) is fighting for an $18 minimum wage, given the marked increase in the cost of living over the past few years.

To learn more about the ins and outs of raising the minimum wage to $18, read our press release and the IRIS report (both in French).

Employment agencies and privatization of homecare support services

COVID-19 has highlighted the adverse effects of using private placement agencies, such as declining service quality, exploding costs, and conflicts of interest. And the tragedies in CHSLDs have focused the spotlight on the necessity of radically transforming the delivery of long-term care and re-centring it on homecare support. What do we make of the growing industry of employment agencies providing home support services, in this context? IRIS has published a report (in French) reviewing the situation, which details why we urgently need to reverse the decades-long trend of government withdrawal from this sector. Otherwise, we'll be left fearing the worst for these highly vulnerable service users.

New search tool for comparing drug prices

Good news! The SSQ Customer Centre now has a search tool that allows you to compare drug prices at different pharmacies.

Medications make up about 82% of the cost of our health insurance plan, so this is an easy way to help keep premiums down. You can make a difference. Try it out!

Note: the search does not include online pharmacies. Their prices are listed on their websites.

WEBINAR | Making sense of the RREGOP and other pension benefits

Whether you’re at the beginning of your career or just about to retire, this information meeting on "Making sense of the RREGOP and other pension benefits" will give you the tools you need to continue to participate optimally in your pension plan.

The first webinar for the winter/spring semester will take place on February 10, 2022, at 5:30 pm (in French).

Click HERE to sign up.

Other dates and times (noon or evening), as well as a session in English, will be offered in the coming months. Check the Fil@apts for updates.

* Sessions last about two hours.

** No union leave is granted for this type of meeting.

If you have questions, contact us at retraite.assurance@aptsq.com.