VOLUME 9 No. 8 | APRIL 26, 2019

Interested in union activities?

Check the union bulletin boards in your workplace in the coming weeks to find out more about the positions to be filled on your local executive. We are especially encouraging women to run for office. Women make up 86% of the APTS membership, which is not fully reflected in our decision-making bodies.

If you’d like to take up this challenge, contact your provincial representative to find out the dates for submitting your candidacy and the issues that are central to local union life in your institution.

Medical technologists at the end of their rope

For National Medical Laboratory Week, the APTS is reminding Minister McCann that the new version of OPTILAB she announced on April 10 can't meet its targets of greater efficiency without taking into account the 6,200 medical technologists we represent. Medical technologists can no longer be ignored, and are demanding to be informed and duly consulted on the changes underway in Québec labs. For details, see our press release.


Biomedical engineering in the spotlight

It is also Biomedical Engineering Week, promoted by the Association des technologues en génie biomédical. To mark this occasion, we met with one of the co-ordinators from the team at Hôpital Pierre-Boucher in Longueuil and visited their offices. To have a clearer understanding of this essential but little-known profession, see the account of our meeting in our e-zine BlueAPTS.


Mass demonstration for the planet on April 27

Earth Week organized by the collective La Planète s’invite au parlement will wrap up with a MEGA DEMO in Montréal on Saturday, April 27. There are three departure points:
- Place des Festivals, corner of Ste. Catherine’s and Jeanne Mance
- Parc Laurier, corner of Christophe-Colomb and Laurier
- Parc Lafontaine, corner of Rachel and Parc Lafontaine
The various processions will converge at Mount Royal Park.

Members are invited to join the APTS delegation at the corner of Sherbrooke and Parc Lafontaine Avenue at around 2 pm. APTS flags will be available.

The collective is also organizing rallies in other parts of Québec. Check what’s happening in your region!

United health front against climate change

The APTS teamed up with doctors and nurses who, at the invitation of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, held a press conference on April 23 to express their support for the call by students and grassroots organizations to march on April 27 and demand urgent action to curb climate change and its impact on Quebecers’ health. An excerpt of the statement by the APTS political officer for sustainable development is presented in our press release.

April 28 – National day of mourning for workers killed on the job

In Québec in 2017, the CNESST (Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail) compensated 86,223 victims of work-related accidents and 9,912 workers suffering from occupational diseases. The CNESST also acknowledged that 230 workers had died following a work injury. This account of work injuries and deaths illustrates just how relevant it still is to set up preventive measures in our workplaces to reduce the number of work-related accidents and illnesses.

We invite you, on this international day of commemoration and mourning, to think about those who have died and reflect on the importance of prevention at work.

Emotionally demanding work in youth centres

The IRSST occupational health and safety research institute (Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail) has just published the results of a study on a joint prevention process to counter the effects of emotionally demanding work in youth centres. The study focuses on work that is highly challenging emotionally due to employees’ contact with children and families in crisis and to the lack of resources that jeopardizes youth workers’ safety and their physical or psychological health. It identifies risk factors and protection factors associated with emotionally demanding work. Thanks to the study, projects in the workplace were conducted involving added resources or a form of mentoring to support educators experiencing difficult situations.

Mobile app services offered by SSQ Insurance

It’s already possible to check on the SSQ Access website whether a new medication is covered by your drug insurance plan. Now you can also find this information on the SSQ’s mobile app by entering the drug’s identification number (DIN).

For details on the mobile app services offered by our insurer, visit the SSQ website.

Requesting a pension estimate

Retraite Québec is improving its services by extending the period for requesting a pension estimate. From now on, you can request pension estimates for retirement scenarios ranging from 4 to 24 months after the date on which your request is submitted, rather than being capped at 14 months. A new version of the request form is available on the Retraite Québec website. To contact Retraite Québec in the Québec City region: 418 643-4640. The toll-free number for other regions in Québec: 1 866 627-2505.

Inter-union solidarity pact signed

The APTS has just signed a non-raiding pact with the CSN, CSQ, FTQ and FIQ, in anticipation of the period for changing union allegiance this July. The five labour organizations agreed to focus all their attention on public-sector contract talks that will start this fall. This non-raiding pact prohibits the organizations that have signed it from soliciting members of another co-signing union or from supporting any local initiative in that sense, for all unions in the health and social services system, school boards, colleges or CEGEPS, and government agencies.

Before signing, the APTS received a mandate from the General Council on March 21 to ratify such a solidarity pact.

Higher reimbursement for travel expenses

Every year in April and October, the Treasury Board issues a directive on travel expenses. The one issued on April 2 raises the reimbursement rate set out in clause 33.01 of the national provisions of the collective agreement.

As of April 1, 2019, when employees are authorized to use their personal vehicle, they receive an allowance for distances travelled in the course of their duties, under the following terms and conditions:
- for the first 8,000 km in a fiscal year: 46.5¢/km
- for all kilometres after 8,000 in a fiscal year: 42¢/km

An extra 11.6¢/km is added to the allowance, for kilometres travelled on gravel roads.

Pay and salary-scale increases as of April 1, 2019 

From April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020, a lump-sum amount of 16¢ an hour must be paid for each hour remunerated (i.e., as straight time or overtime, and hours for which employees receive benefits stipulated in clause 9.13 of the national provisions).

In addition to this lump-sum amount, a new salary structure ensuing from the salary relativity exercise was set in place on April 2, 2019 (see Letters of Agreement No. 28 and 33) for all job titles.

For the vast majority of employees, as of April 2, the effect on their pay will be twofold: the addition of a lump-sum amount of 16¢ an hour, and their new salary after integration on the new salary structure, until March 31, 2020.

May 1st: for the kind of Québec we want

Demonstrations with the theme Pour le Québec qu’on veut will be held in a number of cities across Québec to mark International Workers’ Day. Members in the Montréal région are invited to join the APTS procession on Wednesday, May 1, at 6 pm. We’ll be rallying at the Parc metro station, on the corner of Parc and Jean Talon.