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February 28 marked the signing of a new labour contract for employees at the Quebec City headquarters of Quebec’s institute of public health, the Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ).

Under the new collective agreement, members of Local 4671 will receive the same wage increases as agreed upon in the public sector. The new contract will run until March 31, 2015.

The new agreement also contains other improvements, including:

  • classification of computer programmers and network administrators as specialized computer technicians
  • permanent status for certain positions
  • structuring work time with the accumulation of a bank of 14 hours per month (for up to 16 days per year off)
  • introduction of employees holding grant positions in order to provide a measure of stability
  • casual part-time employees (ex: job security for the duration of the contract issued by the Ministry of Health and Social Services)
  • the possibility of recognized benefits for holders of permanent posts
  • remuneration provided for guards with remote intervention

The INSPQ employees of Local 4671 work primarily as support staff (office), computer technicians and radiology technicians.

CUPE also represents a second group of INSPQ employees: the members of CUPE 2667 are laboratory workers at the centre in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue. This group should be ratifying their new collective agreement within a few days.

INSPQ employees work on various research projects, such as the Quebec breast cancer screening program, the occupational lung disease screening program (in conjunction with CSST), and the healthy towns and cities program.

The mission of the INSPQ is to be “an expertise and reference centre in public health”in Quebec. Its goal is “to advance knowledge and propose cross-sectoral strategies and endeavours that will improve the state of health and well-being of Quebecers.“