Shortage of psychologists | The situation is “critical” in the public sector, say unions

(Montreal) The unions representing psychologists in the public sector are asking to meet with the Ministers of Health, Education and the Treasury Board, faced with the “critical situation of the lack of psychologists”, in connection, according to them, with their remuneration.

The health, social services, education and college networks are struggling to retain and attract psychologists, given their working conditions, say these union organizations. Many psychologists prefer to work in the private sector, where they are better paid.

The eight labor organizations concerned point out that pay equity complaints dating from 2015, affecting these public sector psychologists, have still not been settled.

They had requested the establishment of a forum to settle these complaints, but claim to have recently been refused.

The APTS (Alliance of professional and technical personnel in health and social services), the SPGQ (Union of government professionals), two entities of CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees, affiliated with the FTQ), two affiliated federations to the CSN and two federations affiliated with the CSQ are therefore calling for a meeting with the ministers concerned to discuss the file.

We must immediately eliminate wage discrimination and, subsequently, implement solutions to improve the working conditions of psychologists in order to bring the balance back to the needs of the public networks.

Excerpt from the joint declaration of the APTS, the SPGQ, and entities affiliated with the FTQ, the CSN and the CSQ

“There is an urgent need to act for the attraction and retention of the workforce, which go hand in hand with the ability to offer mental health services accessible to the entire Quebec population,” they add. .

Reached by email, the Ministry of Executive Council and Secretariat of the Treasury Board indicated that the Government of Quebec was “willing and available to discuss issues concerning the working conditions of psychologists in the public and parapublic sectors”.

“Over the past few months, the channels of communication between the parties have been maintained and very active,” the government said. Organizations representing psychologists are therefore invited to continue discussions. It is hoped to agree on global measures aimed at recruiting and retaining psychologists in the public and parapublic networks, as well as improving the service offer. »

The government adds that “a nuance must be made, because equity is not part of the negotiable elements”. “Indeed, the 2015 maintenance raised by the union will eventually be decided by the CNESST, so the Quebec government does not want to mix pay equity and negotiations,” he argues.

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