May the force be with us

May the force be with us

In my closing remarks to the 175 union delegates representing your local units at the General Council zoom meeting, I spoke off the cuff about my daughter who has dyspraxia. Given all the uncertainties of COVID-19, she’s had to come back home.

Having my big girl at home hasn’t been a hindrance in any way. On the contrary, despite my hectic schedule, I’ve found her daily presence inspiring. To me, she exemplifies resilience, courage and caring.

A pure-hearted person, she can tell right away when something doesn’t ring true, and can cut through to what’s essential. My daughter reminds me every day of why I’m committed to supporting the work of those who devote their time and energy, knowledge and skills to the health and well-being of their fellow Quebeckers.

The least we can do to look after you as you take care of others is to protect you from abusive or unfair treatment, and demand respect and recognition for your work.

You’ve faced an incredible number of challenges since this devastating health crisis first struck. There have been plenty of opportunities for us to defend your interests: in your institutions, before parliamentary committees on draft legislation, in meetings with cabinet ministers or ministerial staff, and in province-wide contract talks. It gives me great pride to represent you each time, and I feel a deep sense of indignation at the unfair treatment you’ve received.

The government’s unwillingness to appreciate your value leaves me flabbergasted.

Your contribution has been vital throughout this annus horribilis, whether it be in laboratories, medical imaging, nutrition, rehabilitation, public health, youth centres, home care or psychosocial services.

Its refusal to give you the same consideration as other classes of personnel is unacceptable. APTS members who are in contact with people potentially infected with COVID-19 have a right to the 8% premium or the $1,000 retention premium granted in hospitals. It’s only fair.

After a year of negotiations and all our efforts to bargain in good faith, it’s time for the government to quit stalling and mandate its bargaining team to reach a settlement.

I urge you to follow developments at the bargaining table by checking out our online publications and taking part in actions organized by your local team. We form a vast network of people of good will. When 60,000 hearts and minds are united, that gives us serious leverage to drive our message home at the bargaining table.

In closing, I know that this holiday period will be gruelling for many of you. With cases of COVID-19 escalating in Québec, there’s no respite in sight. Our thoughts – and our actions – are with you.

Despite this exceptionally challenging period, I hope you’ll be able to spend time with the people who count in your life, and keep them safe by holding virtual gatherings (or at very least, by observing the public health measures). Being with those who want the best for us is just what we need to warm our hearts – those we cherish, like my daughter.

Happy holidays!

By Andrée Poirier, President | December 18, 2020

Leave a Comment