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HomePolitics newsPSAC, Treasury Board contract negotiations to resume Sunday

PSAC, Treasury Board contract negotiations to resume Sunday

These talks involve collective agreements for 120,000 public service workers in four units.

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Contract negotiations between the Public Service Alliance of Canada and the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat are set to resume nearly a year after the parties stepped away from the bargaining table.

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Beginning Sunday, the government and PSAC will re-enter negotiations with the assistance of a third-party mediator for four bargaining teams comprising approximately 120,000 federal public servants: Program and Administrative Services; Operational Services: Technical Services; and Education and Library Science.

In a news release Thursday, Treasury Board said the government was optimistic that discussions would be productive.

“Public servants work hard to deliver for Canadians,” it said. “Their competitive wages and other benefits have consistently reflected the value of their work and the Government is committed to once again reaching agreements that are fair to public servants and reasonable for taxpayers.”

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PSAC declared an impasse in bargaining with the government last May, calling its wage offer of increases averaging 1.7 per cent annually over a four-year agreement “insulting” and “out of touch,” given the high rate of inflation. The government later increased its offer to an average of 2.06 per cent annually, said PSAC, which has proposed 4.5-per-cent annual raises over three years for each bargaining unit.

Other demands outlined by the union include better work-life balance, updates to overtime and weekend pay and more flexibility with telework and remote work.

In January, the Treasury Board filed a complaint with the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board, arguing PSAC had breached its duty to bargain in good faith.

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That same month, the union announced it would hold strike votes for workers in the core public service, which are currently taking place.

Final votes are to be cast on April 11. If the strike mandate passes, PSAC would be able to launch a strike within 60 days, with a requirement to give the government 72 hours’ notice.

“Our goal is not to go on strike, it’s to get to a collective agreement,” PSAC national president Chris Aylward said previously. “We’re being told that the government has a new mandate, so we’ll go back and see what that mandate looks like.”

In its release, Treasury Board acknowledged that a labour disruption could lead to certain public services being delayed or unavailable, adding the government was committed to being transparent with Canadians.

“We continue to make every effort to reach agreements at the bargaining table that are fair to public servants and reasonable for taxpayers,” the statement said. “That’s where the best deals are reached.”


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