$21 million for behavioural rehabilitation services – Better working conditions are also needed

28 mai 2021

Montréal – The APTS (Alliance du personnel professionnel et technique de la santé et des services sociaux) is glad that Minister Carmant has announced a $21 million investment to provide intensive behavioural rehabilitation services for people who are living with a physical disability, an intellectual disability or an autism spectrum disorder and who also have severe behavioural problems.

“This funding is good news, but it needs to be associated with major improvements in our members’ working conditions,” argues APTS vice-president Benoit Audet. “If we want service users to develop their full potential, we need to take steps to end the labour shortage. There’s no way around that. To provide quality services, we have to create a work environment where employees can go beyond managing emergencies.”

“More and more of our members are complaining about being forced to do overtime,” adds Audet. “Others are telling us that their vacation requests are being turned down. They’re not staying in living units or residences with continuous assistance – they’re leaving to find better working conditions.”

The APTS asserts that attracting and retaining personnel is the central issue in current bargaining talks for the renewal of its members’ collective agreement. The union is asking for wage premiums and additional leave for employees delivering behavioural rehabilitation services to people living with a physical disability, an intellectual disability, or an autism spectrum disorder, and who also have severe behavioural problems. “It’s time to put an end to the chronic undervaluing of traditionally female jobs,“ says Audet. “Half measures won’t be enough. The needs are huge, and to meet them, we need more jobs with better pay and attractive working conditions.”

Moving towards a strike

Given the Legault government’s refusal to discuss concrete measures to address the labour shortage in the health and social services system, the APTS has no choice but to use the strike mandate given by its 60,000 members. The first two days of strike action will take place on June 7 and 8, in full compliance with agreements to ensure essential services.

The APTS

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.