Dozens of speech therapists in Quebec temporarily found themselves without a right to practice, forced to cancel appointments and forced to pay salty fees for “re-enrollment” on the board of their professional order for failing to pay them. and their annual subscription before April 1st. According to them, the Order of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists of Quebec (OOAQ) would not have taken adequate measures to communicate the renewal notices to its members.
The embers of the OOAQ had until 1 st April to pay their annual dues totaling more than $800. On April 2, many had the unpleasant surprise of receiving an email announcing that they had been removed from the roll of the Order, and that, to regularize their situation, they had to pay a “re-registration fee” of nearly $400.
According to what has been learned from the OOAQ, at least 140 members would have found themselves in this situation. “There are always mistakes every year, but this year, it’s true that there have been more than usual”, at least twice as much as last year, agreed the president of the Order, Paul-André Gallant, during an interview with Le Soleil, Monday.
The latecomers had to contact the Order in disaster to pay their dues of about $1200, a question to avoid penalizing their customers and losing income. Many have been slow to get the phone line so many were in the same situation, we were told. Members who practice in public or private, others who were on sick leave or maternity, others who have contributed without fail for more than 30 years, teachers, instructors How many speech therapists could forget to pay their annual fees before April 1 st ?
The OOAQ claims to have sent a “special” newsletter to its members on February 15 and made two other reminders in two other newsletters that also contained other topics. The information was also available on the Ordre’s website, says Paul-André Gallant. However, members told us that not everyone would have received the February 15 newsletter, and that the other two could have been read diagonally. “No last minute reviews, no personalized advice. But the email of April 2 went very well, him … “denounces a speech therapist who requested anonymity for fear of retaliation.
Complaint to the Order
A joint complaint signed by more than 250 members of the OOAQ was sent Monday afternoon to the administrators of the professional order.
“These many omissions, which force members to pay [a penalty] of just under $ 400, are a significant source of revenue for the OOAQ. However, she [the source of income] is a bad surprise for many who find themselves unable to see clients, who do not have a license to practice for a few days, until the secretary of the Order settles their case. . This leads to financial losses or loss of services at a time when our services are in demand in all sectors. The public is therefore penalized by the situation, which goes back to the public protection mandate of the Order, “the complaint complains.
The signatories claim that the OOAQ “recognize this administrative mess”, that it comes back to the “clear” opinions of renewal, believing that those “nested in the newsletters” are not – especially as “the newsletters are a bad means of communication “, according to them – and that it revises its policy of late fees (46% of the annual amount of the contribution) for delays of less than 72 hours, which are” abusive and usurious “.
The OOAQ Chair said the board will discuss the issue on Friday and that the board is “open” to “making things better” if necessary. Mr. Gallant recalls, however it is the responsibility of member of a professional order to pay their annual dues before 1 st April and 95% of members OOAQ did.
With respect to the high costs of re-enrolling on the roll of the College, Mr. Gallant points out that they were established in a deterrent, not a punitive, way. “Our mission is to protect the public, and the first thing we need to do to be able to practice is to join the Order. […] These tariffs are there for that, to make sure that people do not forget to register “, explains the president of the OOAQ, clarifying that this question could also be approached by the council of Friday administration.