About ten psychologists from the public network, the Alliance of Professional and Technical Personnel in Health and Social Services (APTS) and CSN, who feel they are underrepresented, are suing their unions in an 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 individually in the spring by psychologists working at CIUSSS de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, CISSS de l’Outaouais and CIUSSS du Nord-de-l’Iland. Île-de-Montréal and CIUSSS de la Capitale-Nationale.
Alexandre Hamel was one of the plaintiffs. The psychologist accused the CSN-affiliated Union of Health and Social Services Professionals and Technicians — Capitale-Nationale of “gross neglect of its duty of representation” towards him. In an interview at destinyHe confirmed that no specific demands for psychologists’ pay were found in the union’s negotiating schedule of the collective agreement.
“They always talk about improving the working conditions of all professionals, but do not take into account the specific nature of the needs of psychologists,” says Alexander Hamel. They justify not putting psychologist-specific items on the negotiation book by saying, “We’ll address that while maintaining pay equity.” » Alexandre Hamel found this strategy ineffective. “The process is lengthy and not guaranteed,” he said. I don’t feel represented. »
They always talk about improving the working conditions of all professionals, but do not take into account the specific nature of the needs of psychologists.
Alexander Hamel also insisted that he was “not against trade unionism” or “against the principle of the common front”. But he believes psychologists should have their own union bargaining unit.
There is no response from the communities
When asked about the complaints to the Administrative Labor Tribunal, APTS did not want to comment. she mentioned destiny to a bulletin intended for its members and providing an update on the deliberations of 25 May. Minister Sonia Lebel’s specific proposal for psychologists “falls short of current union demands”, it said. The union said it was “working to secure the best deal possible”.
CSN also declined to comment. She pointed the newspaper to an open inter-union letter from 2015 in which unions asked Quebec to end “pay discrimination” by psychologists in the public network by addressing pay equity complaints.
The Alliance of Psychologists of the Quebec Public Network believes that the solution lies in the creation of an exclusive union for psychologists. According to its president, Karine Gauthier, the complaints filed with the Administrative Labor Tribunal demonstrate the need for Quebec to act on the matter. The government must amend the law to allow psychologists to form their own debating unit.
“We need to get psychologists out of the current union structure,” she thinks. We have no voice at the negotiating table with APTS who have openly said they will not accept different offers. »
Karine Gauthier argues that unlike other professionals in the field of mental health, psychologists should have a doctorate. When they started their careers later, they collected $300,000 less at the end of their careers than their colleagues in the network who had a bachelor’s degree in psychology. “There was a huge drain on the private sector side,” she recalls.