MONTREAL -- The first strikes in the health and social services sector have just been announced, starting on June 7 and 8.

The Alliance du personnel professionnel et technique de la santé et des services sociaux (APTS), which represents 60,000 workers in health care institutions and youth centres, among others, is planning this walkout.

The APTS is planning four days of strike action: June 7 and 8, as well as June 21 and 22.

Until now, walkouts in the public sector have only affected education, whether it be CEGEP or elementary and high school. The APTS is the first union organization to launch the walkout in the health sector.

In the health sector, essential services must be maintained and walkouts must be carried out to the satisfaction of the Administrative Labour Tribunal. Anything related to COVID-19, for example, will not be affected by the walkout.

In an interview with The Canadian Press on Thursday, APTS vice-president Benoit Audet reported that "the level of discontent" among its members is high and that they have resigned themselves to announcing a walkout in the hope of advancing a stalled negotiation.

The APTS represents social workers, lab technicians, psychologists, nutritionists and others.

- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on May 20, 2021.