27 September 2023

CANADA: Call for consistency on future work

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Canada’s Public Service unions are calling for consistent Federal Government policies on working from home.

President of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC), Jennifer Carr (pictured) said surveys showed that about one-quarter of workers wanted to work from home permanently; about one-quarter wanted to work from offices; half would prefer hybrid workplaces.

However, she said a lot of Government Departments had made their own policies.

“Some Departments are now adding requirements for those who want to work from home permanently, such as requiring a full office with a locked door,” Ms Carr said.

“Those preferring hybrid work want to ensure there is flexibility. There are also questions about the cost of technology and tools for working from home.”

She said Public Servants had been working from home effectively during the COVID-19 pandemic — “they have shown that it works”.

Meanwhile, pay negotiations between the British Columbia Provincial Government and the BC General Employees’ Union (BCGEU) have broken down.

The current agreement between the parties, which covers more than 33,000 union members, expired on 31 March.

President of the BCGEU, Stephanie Smith said her members had made it clear from day one that a cost of Living adjustment (COLA) was the key to a deal.

“Unfortunately, the employers’ revised wage proposal suggests they haven’t yet gotten the message. In fact, what they offered was less than half of the COLA,” Ms Smith said.

“The bottom line is any wage offer that doesn’t include the COLA is a wage cut and no worker should be expected to take a wage cut — especially not the Public Service workers who kept our families safe and our Province operating throughout all the uncertainty of the last few years.”

Ottawa, 11 April 2022

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