VOLUME 9 No. 2 | JANUARY 30, 2019

Could you be a healthcare star?

A fine opportunity to recognize the value of APTS members’ work and initiatives is now presenting itself. The Caisse du Réseau de la santé Desjardins has just created the Stars award for excellence in the healthcare system. To be eligible, you have to be working in a Québec healthcare facility that has projects to showcase in one of the following categories: Simple, Humane, Modern, High-performance initiatives. The Caisse will receive candidacies until March 1, 2019, and will grant awards worth $20,000 on April 25, which is Health Day at the Caisse. There’s no time to lose! Check out the criteria and conditions for submitting candidacies on the Caisse website at https://journeesante.ca/#prix.

Health minister ponders OPTILAB

The health minister’s decision to have Ste. Justine’s Hospital manage its own laboratories gives us an opportunity to point out the many inconsistencies associated with the OPTILAB roll-out. As members of her cabinet are saying that no halt has been called to OPTILAB and that they’re stilling pondering the matter, we’ve decided to direct a series of blogs at the minister to give her some food for thought with our alternative solutions. The first blog by our intrepid medical technologist is on the management of the Montréal-MUHC lab cluster. We’ll keep you posted.

A 12th OPTILAB lab cluster

On January 17, we learned at practically the same time as medical technologists that the labs associated with Ste. Justine’s Hospital had been withdrawn from the Montréal-CHUM lab cluster to create a separate lab cluster. This new lab cluster will have a pediatric vocation with a province-wide component, as indicated on the MSSS web site.

All the implications of this decision are not yet known, particularly for labour relations, but we’ll definitely be following this closely. In a press release, we hailed this decision that was the direct result of a directive by the health minister to rectify one of the major discrepancies created by the OPTILAB reorganization. There are other discrepancies, however.

APTS insurance premium calculator 

To help you make informed choices, we’ve prepared an insurance premium calculator so that you can calculate the applicable amounts depending on the level of coverage you choose (e.g., basic, intermediate or superior).

You can use the tool to make sure that the amounts are in line with the employer’s deductions on your pay slip. Note that the employer’s share is included in the amounts provided by the tool. You have to subtract $2.39 if you have individual status, or $5.97 if you have single-parent, couple or family status. Tell your employer promptly if you notice any error. For more details on coverage, consult our leaflet, At a glance 2019.

Cost of an insurance plan 

You don’t need a premium calculator to realize that insurance is costly! We’ve been conducting information campaigns for a number of years now to help members understand how group insurance works and the key issues involved. It’s important to know that the group’s claims history has a direct impact on the premium amount that has to be paid. The greater the number of claims, the higher the premiums. Also, when comparing our plan to private-sector employers’ plans, we have to remember that private-sector plans are wholly or in large part paid by the employer, unlike our plan in which the employer pays only an infinitesimal share. The APTS is currently putting out a call for bids for 2020. In the meantime, we invite you to read up on the subject by browsing the texts on our website, and gear up for a public universal pharmacare plan.
In group insurance, you can’t compare apples and oranges

Insurance: 4 ways to curb rate hikes (in French)

Partition of accumulated RREGOP benefits between former common-law spouses

As of January 1, 2019, former common-law (or de facto) spouses who are no longer together can now share accumulated pension benefits with their ex. To do so, they have to agree to this in writing within 12 months of the date their marriage ended. (Common-law spouses whose marriage ended after August 31,1990 but before January 1, 2019 have 12 months as of the latter date.) This agreement must be signed by both parties in front of a notary or lawyer or in a joint affidavit. For further details, go to Retraite Québec

If you have questions or would like to apply for these shared benefits, contact Retraite Québec directly (8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday) in the Québec City region at 418 643-4881 or with the toll-free number: 1 800 463-5533.

A new APTS political platform on the horizon

Work has started up to develop a whole new political platform for the APTS. The principles and positions that have defined its socio-political action until now will be reviewed and updated to meet the challenges of our times: growing inequalities, climate change, rising intolerance, development of a two-tier health system, etc. To encourage more in-depth thought and reflection, the plan is to adopt this new platform at the APTS Convention in 2021. In the meantime, an extensive process of consultation and discussion will be undertaken. The year 2019 will be devoted to this process, leading up to the adoption of the broad lines of the future platform at the Convention in November 2019. The first step will be to meet with resource people outside the APTS to exchange ideas on prospective trends, and with our APTS colleagues to ensure that their realities are taken into account. We’ll keep you informed of our progress in what we hope will be your project, too!

March 8: calling for respect and renaming women’s day

March 8: calling for respect and renaming women’s day The Collectif 8 mars invites you to identify March 8 from now on as International Women’s Rights Day, to counter commercial co-optation of a day that should be all about activism and feminism. It is a day to denounce discrimination, inequality and violence against women… not to offer bargain prices on vacuum cleaners! The past two years have been decisive ones for the feminist movement around the world, particularly on account of the #MeToo movement. This year, we are calling for respect through concrete measures for equality and women’s rights! To show your support for this demand and display your feminist commitment, we invite you to share on your social media networks the visuals created for March 8, 2019. Pins and posters will also be available soon.

Arbitration for the job title of biomedical engineering technical co-ordinator

Francine Beaulieu, the arbitrator in the case involving the evaluation of the job title of biomedical engineering technical co-ordinator, notified us that she intends to send her draft decision to the assessors in the case, toward the end of May. That is the prerequisite step before a final decision, which should be handed down in the months that follow. If the arbitrator sides with us and we obtain ranking 18, it will be retroactive to 2008.


Some job titles that are indicated on the APTS lanyards are reserved job titles. Please be careful about wearing a lanyard for a job title, as it is not permitted to indicate that you have certain job titles unless you belong to a professional order.