26 September 2023

CANADA: Tens of thousands to vote in strike ballots

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More than 120,000 members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) are to take part in strike votes next month after talks on a new pay and conditions deal dissolved into acrimony.

The Federal Government has accused the PSAC of not negotiating in good faith for a new collective agreement.

The strike votes involve workers in the Program and Administrative Services; Technical Services; Education and Library Science, and Operational Services groups.

The votes are to be held between 22 February and 19 April.

The four bargaining units are part of the Treasury Board Secretariat, a Central Government Agency that facilitates a significant amount of work related to the basic functioning of the Federal Government.

National President of the PSAC, Chris Aylward said Federal Public Servants were there when Canadians needed them the most “seeing us through one crisis after another”.

“Now, the Government needs to be here for workers, because while it stalls on making things right, we all pay the price,” Mr Aylward (pictured) said.

Earlier this month, the Federal Government filed two complaints against the PSAC with the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board, claiming the union was not negotiating in good faith.

“The PSAC has flooded the bargaining tables with costly proposals, refusing to prioritise its requests, refusing to move on its initial proposals, and has not responded to the employer’s comprehensive offers,” the complaints alleged.

The PSAC left the bargaining table on 1 September last year, during the sixth negotiation session, and declared an impasse.

Mr Aylward said the complaint filing was just another stalling tactic to deny workers a fair contract.

He alleged the Government had refused to negotiate on remote work and better work-life balance.

He also said the Government wage offer of 2.06 per cent per year was “completely out of touch with record-high inflation over the past two years”.

Ottawa, 24 January 2023

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