VOLUME 9 No. 11 | JUNE, 6 2019

Don’t miss your annual general assembly!

The season for annual general assemblies is in full swing in local APTS units. In participating, you can learn more about what your union team has accomplished in the past year, and elect those who will represent you on the local executive. We invite you to contact your local executive for details on the assembly, and take part in the assembly. It's important to have a big turnout.

Consultations underway

Consultations on sectoral matters that will be the focus of the next round of public-sector negotiations have begun in some institutions. Your local executives invite you to share your views on issues such as human resources development budgets, expenses associated with professional practice, improving conditions of practice, and remuneration for certain professional responsibilities. The consultation process will continue until the end of this summer.

A second phase of consultation is planned in early fall for intersectoral demands on salary, the retirement plan, parental rights and regional disparities, which we'll push for jointly with the FIQ.

Bursary program enhanced for doctoral students in psychology

On May 2, the Fédération interuniversitaire des doctorant.es en psychologie (FIDEP) learned that all eligible graduates will obtain a bursary for the 2019-2020 year. Moreover, a review of the bursary program will be done this fall (2019), ahead of schedule, to rapidly adjust the method of awarding bursaries to meet the needs. Given this good news, the FIDEP is ending its mobilization activities calling for additional bursaries to be granted. Following pressure tactics in 2016-2017, 250 bursaries worth $25,000 each were promised to doctoral students to support them during their year-long internship. Yet the number of doctoral students was underestimated, and many found themselves without income during their internship.

The doctoral students’ federation thanked the APTS for our role in helping bring about this positive outcome.

For gender parity in parliament

The APTS joined with the Mouvement Démocratie Nouvelle and Groupe Femmes, Politique et Démocratie to demand that the objective of gender parity be met in the Québec electoral system. On May 26, at a press conference, the coalition outlined its expectations – which also include diversity – and reminded the premier of his promises to enhance women’s representation in parliament by reforming the voting system. A bill on the subject is anticipated this fall.

The APTS itself has made an effort to ensure that its own representative structures as a union reflect the composition of its members, 86% of whom are women. See the document on equitable representation. (The English version will be available shortly.)

Sanction overturned due to an incomplete disciplinary warning

An arbitrator annulled a 20-day suspension that had been imposed on an employee represented by the APTS, because the employer’s notice did not specify the violations for which the employee was reproached, or the facts indicating which of the employee’s statements, actions or attitude might justify such a sanction. The collective agreement stipulates that any disciplinary notice must be transmitted in writing and contain the reasons as well as the essential facts. In this case, the APTS affirmed that the notice didn’t contain these details. The employer claimed that the employee had been sufficiently informed verbally during the investigation. The arbitrator nonetheless confirmed that the notice, which failed to contain the general allegations, was not sufficient.

2019-2020 Auditor General’s Report

The recommendations of Québec’s Auditor General, Guylaine Leclerc, were welcomed by unions in health and services. These recommendations were based on her audit of the CNESST’s prevention work in occupational health and safety. (The CNESST is the Labour Standards, Pay Equity and Occupational Health and Safety Commission.) The report calls for prevention work to be given greater importance and be better organized. In the Auditor General’s assessment, "programming inspections on the basis of set priorities is not efficient." While hailing the fact that in terms of inspections, the health sector has been a new priority since 2017, she lamented that this sector is nonetheless being “left behind.”

The report points out that psychological health, while a concern for the CNESST, is not included as a priority in its 2017-2019 plan. In an inter-union press release, the president of the APTS called on the CNESST to take immediate action on this front.

Chapter 3 of the report, which is devoted to occupational health and safety, is found on pages 54  to 103.

Against subsidies for fossil fuel energy

Équiterre has handed in two petitions, one to the minister of the environment and climate change and the other to the federal finance minister, containing 15,000 signatures  opposing the use of public funds for the oil and gas industries. These petitions were submitted on May 29, 2019, the date of the first anniversary of the Canadian government’s decision to buy the Trans Mountain pipeline. For further details about this action, visit Équiterre’s website