APTS initiates mediation to obtain a negotiated settlement
January 21, 2021
Montréal – With government negotiators showing little willingness to tackle key issues surrounding work overload and attraction/retention measures for its 60,000 union members, the APTS asked labour minister Jean Boulet to appoint a mediator to help reach an agreement on their working conditions. An initial meeting with the mediator will be held this afternoon.
″After more than a year of negotiations, we’re forced to admit that the Legault government’s bargaining team does not have the latitude to improve our members’ working conditions, eliminate work overload and help attract and retain personnel. The fault lines in our public health and social services system have been exposed by the pandemic and have drawn much media attention, but the Treasury Board’s negotiators haven’t budged from their position. We hope the arrival of a mediator will push the government to break the deadlock so we can reach a settlement that’s acceptable to all parties,″ declared APTS President Andrée Poirier.
For the union representing employees in more than 100 job titles who work in every area of health care and social services, the government’s stubborn refusal to discuss effective measures that would improve working conditions in all professions reveals a simplistic view of the healthcare system. Its obstinacy is undermining care and services for the population, and is causing heavier reliance on placement agencies and other private companies that drain the lifeblood from public resources.
″It was clear to us that the entire situation had changed with the pandemic, so we put a lot of effort into prioritizing our demands last fall. We hope that an impartial third party can get the government negotiators to see how hard the APTS has worked to arrive at an agreement. The ball is now in the Treasury Board’s court. Sonia Lebel, the head of the Treasury Board, has to give her bargaining team a broader mandate if she wants the mediation process to bear fruit,” concluded Andrée Poirier.
The APTS (Alliance du personnel professionnel et technique de la santé et des services sociaux) represents a total of 60,000 members who play a key role in ensuring that health and social services institutions run smoothly. Our members provide a wide range of services for the population as a whole, including diagnostic, rehabilitation, nutrition, psychosocial intervention, clinical support, and prevention services.