COVID 19 | Minister McCann overlooks many health and social services professionals and technicians

6 avril 2020
COVID 19 | Minister McCann overlooks many health and social services professionals and technicians
"On one hand, I have 5,735 members working in laboratories who are (or will be) handling thousands of samples contaminated with VIDOC-19, who are putting their health on the line every day for the good of the population. On the other, I have a minister of health and social services who disregards them by failing to give them the 8% bonus she gives to their colleagues who come into contact with infected people. That is insulting. It seems obvious to me that the risks are similar. The minister must reverse her decision immediately."

This is what APTS president Andrée Poirier called for when the ministerial order went through its final reading on April 4. Lab personnel is essential in diagnosing and isolating infected people and thereby curbing the spread of the virus in communities. In addition to these employees, the ministerial order also excludes those in medical imaging rooms and all personnel who provide services in the home, in private nursing homes for seniors, and in work with individuals on an ad hoc basis.

"Employees working in public CHSLDs have an 8% premium but those doing exactly the same work in private nursing homes only receive 4%. It’s ridiculous. The same goes for employees who have to contend with various unknowns in working with individuals with reduced independence, or following a youth protection incident report to the DPJ. The spread of COVID-19 is now community-based, and these employees are taking risks every day in the course of their work. At very least, out of respect, they should have been granted the same premium," added Andrée Poirier.

For the APTS, the 8% hazard premium should apply to all employees who provide care or services in an environment where they may come into contact with a person, test specimen, or material that is contaminated or potentially contaminated. We note that improvements have been made in relation to what was announced in the press conference last Friday, particularly with the top premium now being offered to employees who are required to work in residential centres where people are infected with COVID-19.

"It’s true that another step forward has been taken. But why not stop trying to save a few pennies on the backs of professionals and technicians, and recognize the crucial work they’re doing every day during the pandemic? Why create arbitrary divisions among employees? We are all in the same boat and are all working together to fight COVID-19," concluded the APTS president.

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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.