VOLUME 11 No. 6 | MARCH 23, 2021

Time for decisions

Over the past 16 months, there have been no concessions from the Legault government at the bargaining table. In fact, the changes it’s asking for would make the working conditions of APTS members more difficult, and actions to increase pressure on it are becoming more and more frequent.

At this point, it’s up to you to say what methods should be used to put more pressure on the government and get it to change its position. Over the next few weeks, you’ll be asked to vote on a strike mandate for a maximum of 10 days. We've produced documents on government offers and the state of contract talks to help you think about the issue.

A few days before special general assemblies begin in your institutions, you may be interested in the thoughts of the APTS political officer on the government’s strategy in a Bleu APTS article (in French).

Québec budget 2021-2022

On Thursday, March 25, the Legault government will be tabling its third budget. The APTS recently addressed budget issues in a newspaper opinion piece. To help you understand the budget and its impact on your working conditions, we’ve prepared the following (in French):

  • an animated video explaining the underfunding of the health and social services system;
  • a summary focusing on key aspects of the brief in which the APTS explains what it expects from the budget.

On Thursday evening, we’ll be going live on Facebook at 7 p.m. to answer your questions on the budget. We hope many of you will join us!

What political role should the APTS play?

With 60,000 members, the APTS now has a significant ability to take action. What role should we play in defending our collective rights and building a more just society? As a union, why do we need to strongly defend a public and accessible health and social services system? Join us to discuss these issues at a webinar with Laure Letarte-Lavoie, 4th APTS vice-president, at 6:30 p.m. on April 8, 2021.

You can sign up for the event via Facebook.

To access the webinar:

Meeting: 950 2509 2818
Passcode: 632039

COVID-19 vaccination

The MSSS, unions in the health and social services system, and the ASSTSAS are putting out a joint message on the importance of getting vaccinated against COVID-19. This is an action that helps fight contamination; as a preventive step, it complements existing measures taken to control infections and prevent transmission. For more information about vaccination, see the following websites (the last one is in English): MSSS, ASSTSAS and CNESST.

Domestic workers are treated differently

Domestic workers are currently excluded from the Act respecting industrial accidents and occupational diseases, which means that unless they have personal coverage, they are not eligible for compensation if they are injured at work or develop a work-related illness. Minister Boulet’s reform, as spelled out in Bill 59, maintains this discrimination by requiring domestic workers to meet stringent conditions before they can file a claim with the CNESST. For more information, see the uttam newsletter or the brief submitted by CISO (Centre international de solidarité ouvrière).

Website revamp

Our website has been redesigned to better answer your needs, and includes a new section in English. The new site is more inviting, more dynamic, and more attuned to your concerns. We’ve made a video to show you around (in French). Enjoy the tour!

The members-only section is now the activist zone

Now that web pages for local unions can be reached via the APTS public website, the members-only section has become a section for people who hold a union position or who are employed by the APTS. To get access, they can click on Activist zone on the bar at the top of the APTS website or go directly to https://membres.aptsq.com/fr/acces-aux-membres.aspx.

Québec's new youth protection director

The APTS looks forward to cooperating with Québec’s new youth protection director, appointed by Minister Lionel Carmant on March 17, 2021, in order to rapidly implement the “recommendactions” expected from the special commission on the rights of children and youth protection (CSDEPJ). The Minister’s decision will resemble the APTS recommendation to create an ombudsperson for children and young people, as long as the youth protection director is given the independence she’ll need to solve problems of personnel retention and attraction. The APTS hopes to meet with Catherine Lemay as soon as possible.

Work overload: severe and widespread

To understand the impact of work overload on our members, we’ve listened to three employees: Nathalie Pépin, social worker in a youth centre; Josée Benoît, dietetics technician: and Marie-Claude Lussier, home care occupational therapist. Ms. Lussier appears in the first video and you’ll be meeting the other two on Facebook over the next few days.

Webinar on the RREGOP and other pension benefits

So far, over 1,100 members have participated in webinars on your pension plan. Click HERE to sign up for the next session, at 5 p.m. on March 30 – it’s not too late. In April, the webinars will be in English. Webinars in French will take place in May and will resume next fall. Each session lasts about two hours. Union leave time cannot be granted for this type of event. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at retraite.assurance@aptsq.com.

Group insurance rates

Following the 2019 call for bids, it was agreed that changes in group insurance rates would come into force every year in April. Health insurance premiums will go up by 6% on April 1, 2021, while rates will remain unchanged for dental care, life, long-term disability and accidental dismemberment coverage until April 1, 2022.

The SSQ booklet, At a glance, will give you information about the cost of premiums as of April 1, 2021, and you can use the SSQ calculator to calculate your premium. Both of these are available on our new website under Group insurance.

Equality at the international level

The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, in session from March 15 to March 26, provides an opportunity for member states to take action in order to achieve equality for women under the guidance of experts and civil society organizations. This year, the consequences of the pandemic are such that the Executive Director of UN Women says it is the most discriminatory crisis we have ever experienced. Greater participation on the part of women, and a greater role for them in decision-making, are needed to meet global challenges and eliminate violence. For more information, see the UN Women website.

Notice of elections - Provincial committees

An online General Council will take place from April 16 to 22, 2021, to hold elections to the following positions:

  • one member to sit on the provincial feminist action committee
  • one member to sit on the provincial socio-political action committee
  • one member to sit on the provincial gender and sexual diversity committee
  • four members to sit on the new provincial cultural diversity committee

Any member of an APTS bargaining unit is eligible. Those interested have until 4 p.m. on April 5, 2021, to submit their candidacy. Please click on the notice of elections, the election procedure, and the candidacy form for more information.