Ministry of Health and Social Services blamed for being rigid and inflexible
November 03, 2022
Montréal - The APTS (Alliance du personnel professionnel et technique de la santé et des services sociaux) decries the Ministry’s patently unfair refusal to consider its concerns for some of its union members.
In April 2022, the APTS requested a separate job title for scientific counsellors who provide health and social care technology and intervention assessments, as is allowed under the collective agreement. In October, the MSSS denied the union’s request.
These employees currently hold the job title of “Planning, programming and research officer.” Yet the work they do requires a graduate degree, which is not the case for all other planning, programming and research officers.
The discipline of health and social care technology and intervention assessment is recognized internationally. It generates scientific literature, and in Québec, a Master’s degree is offered at the Université de Montréal. The proposed job title already exists in another public agency, the Institut national d’excellence en santé et services sociaux (INESSS), and receives a higher ranking on the pay scale than APTS members who perform similar work.
Despite the strong case presented by the APTS, the MSSS refused to create this new job title on October 11. It denied these employees the opportunity of having their job title officially recognized and of receiving a pay evaluation that corresponds to the work they perform.
Unfortunately, there is no provision in the collective agreement for a review process in the event that such requests are denied, as the MSSS alone is authorized to abolish, modify or create a job title. The APTS vigorously denounces this procedure. How is it possible to get the MSSS to see reason if it is allowed to act as judge and jury when it refuses to co-operate?
In the face of such an injustice, the APTS intends to fight tooth and nail to defend its members. The union blames the MSSS directly for being so rigid, and calls for a reassessment of its request for a new job title to be created.
“In this period of flagrant staff shortages, the MSSS is once again showing how astonishingly inflexible it can be when it’s time to fully recognize its employees by creating a new job title. Instead of fuelling a climate of negativity, the MSSS should agree to the APTS request. If the government wants to become an employer of choice and show its humanity, why dismiss out of hand a measure to help attract and retain employees in a sector where they are sorely needed? The government’s refusal is counterproductive, to say the least,” concluded Robert Comeau, President of the APTS.
The APTS (Alliance du personnel professionnel et technique de la santé et des services sociaux) represents more than 65,000 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.