The secret to a strong health and social service system

The discontent with the current state of the health and social service system is palpable. Given all the broken promises to Quebecers – to put an end to waiting lists and give everyone access to a family doctor – it’s little wonder government pledges to fix the problems with the health-care system are greeted with suspicion. In contrast to the threadbare solutions contained in the Legault government’s health-care reform plan (cost control, phony decentralization, expanding the role of the private sector, etc.), the APTS has a distinctly different vision for the health care and social service system. Our vision is outlined in our political platform and we’ll be promoting it with a campaign under the theme “A strong union for a strong public system.” It lays out the kind of health-care system Quebecers deserve and the principles that should guide any government that’s serious about making it better.

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“Plan santé” – what is it?

Three years. That’s the deadline the Legault government has set itself to put the health and social services system back together with an action plan designed to make it “more human” and “more effective”. But what is the actual content of Minister Dubé’s Plan santé¸ aka the “Plan to implement changes needed in health care”? What are the Ministry’s objectives, how will it try to reach them, and, especially, what will be the impact on our system? We’ve gone through the 90-page document to find the answers.

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Behind the scenes: contract talks with the government

Since the beginning of 2020, the Legault government has made no concessions at the bargaining table. It is sticking to positions that would erode the working conditions of APTS members and potentially hasten the exodus of personnel to the private sector, further weakening the public system. What is behind this (unwise) government strategy?

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Vital professions: in your own words

While the APTS ad describing the variety and value of the professions it represents was being aired, we contacted some of the members featured in the ad to talk about why they agreed to be part of the project and how the pandemic has affected their professional life.

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These negotiations are vital!

On the provincial APTS executive committee, Mélanie Bernier is our national bargaining and pay equity co-officer. In the current public-sector contract talks with the Treasury Board, she’s right there in the thick of the discussions.

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An impassioned activist

The woman we elected president of the APTS at our Convention last November is very determined to boost our union’s visibility and influence, and is proud to do so. “I want the APTS to have the means to realize our goals, fully engage in public debates and take the initiative without hesitation. We have to create ties with other organizations and join forces to serve our common causes,” Andrée Poirier declared.

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New proof of wage discrimination against women

A recent study reveals a 23% pay discrepancy between personnel in the public service (i.e., the civil service, education, and health and social services), 72% of whom are women, and personnel in Crown corporations like Hydro-Québec, Loto-Québec and the Société des alcools du Québec, a majority of whom are men.

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Cannabis and work: your rights and duties

Cannabis use is now legal, but is it compatible with working in health and social services? Can personnel be punished for having smoked a joint? Since October 17, the APTS labour relations department has been responding to questions that are now being posed more openly.

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Local bargaining: where are we at?

At the time this article was written, the legally-set deadline for negotiating the local provisions of our collective agreement had passed in 16 of the 19 new APTS union certifications. Here’s an overview of the results so far in talks with employers in the health and social services sector and the prescribed steps for these talks.

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