VOLUME 11 No. 12 | JUNE 15, 2021

The ball is in the government's court

Our strike was extensively covered by the media, especially outside urban centres. Strike action is always a last resort for us and we're still reaching out to the Treasury Board president and her bargaining team. However, we’ll have no choice but to proceed with our strike on June 21 and 22 unless significant progress is made. The government must agree to use our proposals to attract and retain personnel in the public health and social services system.

Vacations and disability

Is your vacation coming up while you’re dealing with a disability? Ask right away for your vacation to be postponed and prepare to provide reasonable proof justifying your disability insurance claim. If the disability is work-related, you’ll need to quickly produce the supporting documents required by the CNESST (Québec’s Labour Standards, Pay Equity, Occupational Health and Safety Commission).

Rules for remote work

Remote work is now widespread in the health and social services system. In a series of four online Bleu APTS articles (in French), we answer frequently asked questions about your rights and obligations when working remotely, including matters specifically related to practicing remotely as a health and social services employee.

Climate change and occupational health and safety

The APTS belongs to the inter-union climate network Réseau intersyndical pour le climat, which will be offering a webinar on climate change and occupational health and safety hosted by Ariane Adam-Poupart, PhD, a specialized scientific advisor to Quebec’s public health institute (INSPQ). You are cordially invited to the presentation and subsequent discussion period, streaming live on Facebook (in French) on Tuesday, June 15, at 6 p.m.

Tax evasion targeted at last

Tax evasion is a noxious practice that prevents the state from properly funding public services. The latest federal budget contains a measure that will help block it: a beneficial ownership registry. For more on this topic, we recommend this June 10 La Presse article penned by the Échec aux paradis fiscaux collective. Their statement is a reaction to an investigative report on Minister Chrystia Freeland’s budget proposal, published a few days earlier in La Presse.

As part of the Échec aux paradis fiscaux collective, the APTS is pushing for an end to the scandal of extremely wealthy citizens and multinational corporations using tax havens to avoid paying their fair share, both in Québec and in the rest of Canada.

Appointments to our decision-making bodies

Because of the APTS president's prolonged absence, Robert Comeau has been appointed interim president by the Provincial Council.

At the online General Council on May 26 and 27, two people were elected to the Provincial Executive Committee:

  • Émilie Charbonneau will replace Laure Letarte-Lavoie as 4th vice-president;
  • Josée Fréchette will replace Mélanie Bernier as 5th vice-president.

Robert Comeau, Émilie Charbonneau and Josée Fréchette will be replaced as members of the Provincial Council by three members of local executives elected at the online General Council on June 4–7:

  • Joël Bélanger will replace Émilie Charbonneau as provincial representative for the CISSS de la Montérégie-Est;
  • Sandra Étienne will replace Josée Fréchette as provincial representative for the MUHC and private institutions under agreement;
  • Michaël Rocheleau will replace Robert Comeau as provincial representative for the CISSS de la Montérégie-Centre.

Heat waves

Heat waves started early this year, and for workers in non-air-conditioned environments, hot weather can pose health risks. Employers must maintain adequate working conditions under Section 51 of the Act respecting occupational health and safety and take measures to reduce employee discomfort. For more information, see this short clip as well as this ASSTSAS info-sheet (in French).

Reopening and going back to work

Check out this information capsule on reopening and going back to work in which ASSTSAS advisors Lucie Legault, Chantal Toupin, and Josianne Brouillard discuss how we’ve been affected psychologically by lockdown, both personally and collectively (in French). We’ll be moving from yellow to green alert levels over the coming weeks, and going back to work will involve a number of challenges.