Labour Strike Over for Most Workers as Tentative Agreement Reached

CIU/PSAC Members Picketing in Support of Strike Action
Trade Update • May 1, 2023

he Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) says it has reached a tentative contract agreement with the Treasury Board covering more than 120,000 federal government workers across the country.

The national strike is now over for most workers who fall under the Treasury Board. They’ll be required to return to work Monday at 9 a.m. ET or their next scheduled shift, the union said in a statement early Monday. It is important to note that there may still be some service impacts over the next few days and weeks as services return to full capacity.

PSAC said strike action continues for 35,000 Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) workers nationwide, with contract negotiations ongoing. Telework, wages and job security are some of the key issues still at play, PSAC said.

Agreement details

In a statement on its website, PSAC said the tentative agreement includes wage increases of 12.6 per cent compounded over four years, and a one-time, pensionable lump sum payment of $2,500.

It includes language on remote work that gives members “additional protection” from “arbitrary decisions,” and it requires managers to assess requests individually instead of by group, and give responses in writing to allow members and PSAC to “hold the employer accountable to equitable and fair decision-making,” PSAC said.

As for seniority rights in the event of layoffs, the union and the government will submit a joint proposal to the Public Service Commission of Canada about including seniority rights in the workforce adjustment process, PSAC said.

Online ratification votes will be held shortly after a full explanation and copy of the agreement are provided in the coming days, PSAC said.

Treasury Board could not immediately be reached for confirmation early Monday.

What led to the strike?

Contracts for both groups expired in 2021. Negotiations between the federal government and PSAC’s two groups began that year, but the union declared in 2022 it had reached an impasse.

PSAC had previously asked for a 4.5 per cent raise each year for 2021, 2022 and 2023. It said April 24 it had lowered its ask but didn’t elaborate on its demand.

The most recent public offer from the government to each group was a nine per cent raise over three years, a total that matched recommendations of the third-party Public Interest Commission.

Remote work arrangements, priority for senior staff in the event of downsizing and a ban on contracting out work were the other three priority issues identified in an open letter published by the Treasury Board on April 24.

Excerpt Source: CBC News.

Remaining Labour Disruption Updates

Impacts by institution can be found on the Government of Canada webpage here.


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