VOLUME 9 NO. 18 | NOVEMBER 20, 2019

New conciliation process for the 2010 pay equity complaints

In the November issue of the Pay Equity and Salary Relativity Newsletter, we announced that we were going to resume talks with the Treasury Board in an effort to reach an acceptable settlement for complaints contesting the 2010 pay equity audit. Since then, we’ve had three meetings. The time limit imposed by the new Pay Equity Act to settle this case is January 6, 2020. We are doing everything we can to arrive at a satisfactory settlement and hope that the Treasury Board is ready to do the same. It’s time for the government to walk the talk and move into action. The English version of the newsletter will be online soon. 

Increasing the travel allowance
(per km)

On October 1, the Treasury Board issued an administrative policy that raised the allowance paid to employees who are authorized to use their own vehicle for work-related travel. They will now receive the following allowance for all distances travelled:

- for the first 8,000 km travelled in a fiscal year: 47¢/km
- for any distance travelled beyond 8,000 km: 42¢/km

From now on, the amount added to the allowance for kilometres travelled on gravel roads is 11.8¢/km.

APTS intercedes in a case of professional misconduct

The APTS managed to reduce the penalties against a social worker who had failed to meet certain professional obligations. Following a complaint, the employee’s professional order laid five charges against her, which the APTS felt was too severe a penalty. The following professional violations were acknowledged:

  1. the employee assessed and worked with a service user without having sufficient information to judge the situation in an informed way. The syndic wanted the social worker to be struck from the Order’s membership list for two months, but the disciplinary council sided with the APTS and withdrew that sanction. It instead imposed a $3,500 fine.
  2. The employee failed to record the necessary information in the file as stipulated
    by regulation. Some elements were missing from the OEMC (multi-clientele clinical assessment tool) and the report on social functioning. The syndic wanted to impose a $3,500 fine, publication of the misconduct in newspapers or journals at the employee’s expense, and two obligatory training courses. Once again, the disciplinary council acknowledged the relevance of the APTS arguments (as the employee had already taken two training courses), and limited the penalty to a $2,500 fine.

The impact for the social worker would have been far greater had the APTS not intervened. She nonetheless had to pay $7,000 to her professional order. We can’t say it often enough: it's crucial that you meet your professional obligations at all times, even if you are under a great deal of pressure.

New Christmas cards for a poverty-free Québec

The Collectif pour un Québec sans pauvreté unveiled its new series of cards in early November, which are designed to raise public awareness of the realities of poverty. There are four cards in all, illustrated by Élise Gravel, a well-known figure in books for young people. Last year’s series of Christmas cards focused on severe poverty that prevents people from covering their basic needs. This year they highlight another facet of poverty: families and individuals that have difficulty making ends meet but are not in dire poverty. If they want to do or buy something, they have to give up something else. Your local executive is distributing these cards free of charge. Get yours soon!

Devastating hydroelectric project financed by RREGOP

The Hidroituango hydro project on the second largest
river in Colombia has provoked a major ecological disaster, with dramatic environmental, social and economic repercus-sions. Local communities are being displaced and are suffering persecution and impoverishment. They oppose the project and are demanding that the dam be dismantled and that measures be taken to protect the territory and life on the territory. This project receives funding from the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, which manages our retirement fund. It’s important to sign the petition demanding that the Caisse withdraw from this project. Check out the video for details.

Additional life insurance

Did you know that your group insurance plan offers the possibility of taking out optional life insurance? In addition to the mandatory basic life insurance that corresponds to your annual salary, your plan allows you to increase that amount by up to three times your gross annual salary.

To find out the cost, consult the SSQ brochure At a glance.

The cost of optional life insurance depends on your age, gender and status as a smoker or non-smoker. Medical proof is necessary to take out this optional insurance.

To make your request, please contact your employer.
For any questions, we invite you to contact SSQ Insurance directly.

Invitation to addiction rehab workers

As follow-up to a survey on training needs associated
with the co-morbidity of addiction disorders and other mental health disorders, the Association des intervenants en dépendance du Québec (AIDQ) is inviting APTS members working in the field of addiction to take part in a consultation process on the survey findings. The consultation will take place by web conference on Wednesday, November 20 at 11 am. To sign up for it, click here.

Online newsletter, OPTILAB news

Since the rumours began last spring that the CAQ government was forging ahead with the OPTILAB reorganization, a number of events have taken place concerning the lab reform. The APTS met with several ministerial teams to find out more, and the minister set some basic conditions for continuing with the OPTILAB roll-out. In the laboratories, the heads of the lab clusters are still making last-minute announcements, and labour shortages continue to affect the work teams. Work overload is omnipresent, and other battle fronts are opening up in addition to our current ones. Consult our new info-letter to find out more. The English translation will be available soon.

OCCI: first meeting with a professional order

On November12, the APTS met with the Ordre des travailleurs sociaux et des thérapeutes conjugaux et familiaux du Québec (OTSTCFQ) to discuss the impact of using the OCCI (computerized clinical treatment pathway tool) on service accessibility and professional practice in social work. We focused on the extremely cumbersome administrative process involved in using this tool and the increased workload that it entails. We also raised questions about its relevance in certain cases.

The professional order shares our concerns on the clinical front, and sees the OCCI as an accountability tool that provides no value-added in social work. It is concerned about the next generation of personnel in the public sector, and is worried that there will be a marked exodus to the private sector where the less arduous conditions of practice are more attractive. The public sector is increasingly favouring a logic of standardization and uniformity that is incompatible with professionals’ aspirations.

In the next few months, we will be presenting our case to other professional orders concerned by the OCCI, such as the order for occupational therapists.