Contract talks | The APTS steps up the pressure with two more strike days
June 21, 2021
Montréal – Members of the APTS are stepping up the pressure with two days of strike action on June 21 and 22. Discussions continue after an intensive negotiating blitz that began a little over 72 hours ago. The union’s 60,000 professionals and technicians, employed in health care and social services, are demanding significant improvements in their working conditions in order to attract new employees, retain experienced staff, and eliminate the labour shortage that is currently putting services to Quebecers in jeopardy.
“Work done over the past few days has led to some advances at the bargaining tables, but we have yet to see an offer that meets our negotiating objectives,” says APTS interim president Robert Comeau. “We’re asking the government to make one last effort to reach a satisfactory deal, particularly for the youth centre sector, which the Legault government says is a priority. Work overload is having a serious impact on our 60,000 members in every mission and job title. Professionals and technicians are crucial to the functioning of the health and social services system, and the government needs to put an offer on the table that reflects the true value of their expert knowledge. That’s the way to ensure Quebecers are provided with accessible, high-quality services.”
The APTS is the first organization to have carried out strike action in the health and social services system. It is asking Premier Legault to mandate government bargaining teams to reach an agreement that will be satisfactory for APTS members.
At 10 o’clock this morning in Montréal, hundreds of people gathered before Premier Legault’s office to voice their anger and demand solutions to attract and retain personnel in the health and social services system.
“We’ve had three strike days so far, and there will be a fourth one tomorrow,” says Comeau. “Strike action isn’t something we take lightly. We’d rather be at work, taking care of Quebecers’ mental and physical health. Our demands are reasonable and will help make health and social services better and more accessible. A satisfactory deal will also have to include the settlement of pay equity complaints stemming from the 2010 audit. It’s up to the government to work with our proposals to reach an agreement and avoid more strike days.”
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.