For the APTS, women’s rights are central, especially given that 86% of our members are women. Québec owes a great deal to feminists’ struggles. We too often forget that many demands initially spearheaded by unions’ status-of-women committees have had positive ramifications for their unionized male coworkers and for all non-unionized workers, whatever their gender.
How does the APTS defend women’s rights?
The feminist action sector, in collaboration with the provincial feminist action committee, develops our understanding, furthers our analyses, and takes part in actions organized by a number of partners on issues of ongoing concern to women, such as harassment in the workplace and difficulties balancing work obligations with personal and family responsibilities. At its 2019 convention, the APTS passed a resolution making it mandatory to base our political platform on a feminist approach that is open, inclusive, intersectional and holistic. This approach is illustrated in the APTS guide to gender-inclusive and gender-neutral terms (for texts in French).
Is family/work balance actually a gender equality issue?
When it comes to family/work balance, biological and cultural factors are stacked against women, who shoulder the lion’s share of household and family obligations, particularly when they have young children. Although the division of labour has changed considerably in families, the mental burden of responsibility falls largely on women. For that reason, the issue of family/work balance is a priority for feminist action. We’re actively involved in the Coalition pour la conciliation famille-travail-études, which is calling on the provincial government to pass framework legislation on family/work/studies balance. We’ve also made parental rights one of our core demands in province-wide contract talks.
How can I protect myself against psychological harassment at work?
Psychological harassment means any vexatious behaviour in the form of a repeated and hostile or unwanted conduct, verbal comments, actions and gestures, that affect an employee's dignity and psychological or physical integrity, or result in unfavorable working conditions for the employee or dismissal. When faced with a situation involving harassment, your employer has a duty to take action, rectify the situation and prevent it from happening again.
What is equitable representation?
Despite advances in education, women’s representation in democratic life and in corporate and organizational decision-making positions has remained static for decades, in no way reflecting their demographic weight.. The higher the rung on the organizational ladder, the rarer it is to find women, and this is true for all but a few sectors. Even labour organizations that have a long history of fighting discrimination and promoting equality, equity, solidarity and democracy are no exception. A marked and persistent under-representation of women in our decision-making bodies led the APTS to develop a union affirmative action program in the hope of achieving more equitable representation. For more information, consult The APTS and equitable representation.