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Psychologists file a complaint against their union

Psychologists file a complaint against their union

About ten psychologists from the Public Network, who consider themselves poorly represented by the Alliance of Professional and Professional Staff in Health and Social Services (APTS) and the Central Nutrition Network, are filing a complaint against their unions before the Administrative Labor Court.

A hearing was scheduled for Monday in Montreal, but an Administrative Labor Court judge postponed the process to allow the plaintiffs to consult a lawyer. The initial complaints were filed in the spring, individually, by psychologists working for the CIUSSS de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, the CISSS de l’Outaouais, and the CIUSSS du Nord-de-l’Island. Ile de Montreal and CIUSSS de la Capitale-Nationale.

Alexander Hamel is one of the plaintiffs. The psychiatrist claims that the union of professionals and technicians in the field of health and social services – Capitale Nacional, affiliated with the Central Council of Social Security, showed a “serious neglect of the duty of representation” towards him. In an interview in dutyHe confirms that there are no special demands for psychologists’ wages in the union negotiating agenda for the collective agreement.

“They always talk about improving the working conditions of all professionals, but they do not take into account the specific nature of the needs of psychologists,” says Alexander Hamel. They justify not including special elements for psychologists in the negotiation book by saying: “We will solve this while maintaining equal pay.” » Alexander Hummel considered this strategy ineffective. “This process is long and uncertain,” he said. I don’t feel like an actor. »

They always talk about improving the working conditions of all professionals, but they do not take into account the specific nature of psychologists’ needs

Alexander Hamel asserts that he is “not against trade union work” or even “against the principle of a common front.” But he believes psychologists should have their own union bargaining unit.

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No reactions from the unions

In response to a question about complaints submitted to the Administrative Labor Court, APTS did not wish to comment. She pointed out duty To a bulletin to its members containing an update on the negotiations dated May 25. It is noteworthy that the specific proposal presented by Minister Sonia LeBel to psychologists “falls short of the current union requirements.” The union says it is “working to reach the best possible agreement.”

CSN didn’t want to respond either. The newspaper referred to a joint open letter between unions in which the unions ask Quebec to end “pay discrimination” for psychologists in the public network by resolving equal pay complaints starting in 2015.

The Alliance of Psychologists of the Quebec Public Network believes the solution is to create a union of psychologists. According to its president, Karine Gauthier, the complaints submitted to the Administrative Labor Court show the need for Quebec to act on this matter. She explains that the government should amend the law to allow psychologists to form their own negotiating unit.

“We need to get psychologists out of the current union structure,” she believes. We do not have a voice at the negotiating table with APTS, which has publicly said it will not accept disparate offers. »

Karen Gauthier says psychologists are required to have a doctorate, unlike other mental health professionals. When they start their careers later, at the end of their career they will have $300,000 less than their network colleagues with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. “There is a huge leakage into the private sector,” she recalls.

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