Public-sector contract talks | APTS members demonstrate at the Ontario border against the exodus of professionals and technicians in health and social services
June 15, 2023
Gatineau – Members of the APTS (Alliance du personnel professionnel et technique de la santé et des services sociaux) demonstrated today at the entrance of the Alexandra Bridge in Gatineau, calling for solutions to bring the exodus of professionals and technicians in the health and social services system to a halt.
“Our system is heading for a wall, and it's high time we took action,” said APTS president Robert Comeau. “We brought bold proposals to the bargaining table to encourage people to invest in our system, but also to preserve the valuable expertise that has been developed there. Minister Dubé says he wants to be an employer of choice. Here's a chance to prove it.”
In the current round of bargaining talks, the APTS is calling for an additional week of vacation leave, reimbursement of the cost of membership in a professional order, and better recognition of work done at night, in the evening, on weekends, and on statutory holidays.
At the demonstration, the APTS emphasized that the current labour shortage problem is particularly glaring in the Outaouais region – where the union has some 2,500 members – partly because staff are leaving for better-paid jobs just a few minutes' drive across the border in Ontario.
“The people in our region have the right to receive the same services as all other Quebecers, but funding is inadequate,” said Christine Prégent, APTS provincial representative for the Outaouais. “The government needs to take off its blinkers and face up to the problem. Our working conditions have to be reviewed to compete with what's offered on the other side of the Ottawa River!”
“Today, we're reminding the CAQ government that APTS members are essential to our health and social services system, which simply cannot function without professionals and technicians,” concluded Guylaine Laroche, president of the APTS local executive in the Outaouais. “Our cry from the heart must be heard. APTS members are ready to mobilize to obtain the conditions needed to stop the exodus. We urge the public to support this movement – their access to quality care and services is at stake.”
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 all Quebecers, including diagnostic, rehabilitation, nutrition, psychosocial intervention, clinical support, and prevention services.