COVID-19 | Hazard premiums during the pandemic: a first step that needs to be followed by another
April 03, 2020
Despite some inconsistencies in the choices made by Ministers Christian Dubé and Danielle McCann, the APTS can only applaud the government’s openness in granting hazard premiums in recognition of the work performed by health and social services personnel in the fight to stop the COVID-19 pandemic.
"These premiums are a first step, but another step needs to follow very quickly. The 8% premium is restrictive and doesn’t take into account the work done by certain members, particularly those in labs who are handling hundreds of samples a day, some infected with COVID-19. This oversight needs to be rectified promptly," declared the president of the APTS, Andrée Poirier.
While conceding that some of these members are less exposed to COVID-19, the APTS doesn’t understand why the 8% premium doesn’t cover health and social services institutions including all the rehabilitation centres in youth protection and those for clients with intellectual disabilities or on the autism spectrum, where social distancing is impossible to enforce.
"If Christian Dubé and Danielle McCann think that COVID-19 is going to follow the restrictions imposed by the government, they are royally mistaken. All health and social services facilities will have to face off against the virus. We’ve seen that with nursing home and we’ll be seeing it in rehabilitation centres, youth centres and residences with continuous assistance (RAC)," added Andrée Poirier.
The APTS decries the way that Christian Dubé announced the measures contained in a ministerial order. At the time this article was written, the order that also included health and safety measures had not yet been published on the government website, leaving thousands of technicians and professionals in a state of uncertainty. As soon as we receive it, the APTS will review the ministerial order thoroughly and convey its conclusions to its members.
"The government has shown that it’s open, which is a start. This openness also has to extend to measures ensuring the health and safety of professional and technical personnel," concluded the union president.
The APTS (Alliance du personnel professionnel et technique du réseau de la santé et des services sociaux) represents 55,000 members whose role is indispensable in ensuring that health and social services institutions run smoothly. Our members offer a myriad of services to the population in all regions of Québec, including diagnostic services, rehabilitation, nutrition, psychosocial intervention, clinical support and prevention services.