No deal, no federal public servants starting Wednesday

Canada’s largest public sector union has confirmed that its more than 155,000 members will go on strike on Wednesday if a new contract agreement cannot be reached.

Public Service Coalition of Canada (PSAC) national president Chris Aylward confirmed the strike deadline at a news conference Monday morning. He said that while the union and the federal government had made “some progress” in the past two weeks, the two sides remained far apart on several key issues, including wages, job security and remote work. If an agreement cannot be reached by 9pm on Tuesday, workers will initiate strike action, he said.

“We are committed to staying on the table until a fair deal is reached for all of our members — including the 35,000 Canada Revenue Agency members who resumed negotiations today, and the 120,000 members of the Finance Ministry committee who are still on the table,” Aylward said. member.”

PSAC members have been without contracts since June 2021. Last week, the PSAC announced that more than 120,000 public servants on the Finance Ministry committee voted “overwhelmingly” to strike, as did 35,000 unionized workers at the Canada Revenue Agency.

“These workers — like all workers — deserve fair wages and decent working conditions,” Aylward said. “We’ve been negotiating for almost two years, and these workers can’t wait. That’s why we set the time for this round of bargaining.”

If the strike takes place, it would be one of the largest in Canadian history, according to the union. This will lead to a slowdown and complete shutdown of services across the country, including delays in the processing of income tax and benefit returns by the tax department. Other areas that will be impacted include Employment and Social Development Canada’s passport services, Employment Insurance, Social Security and Canada Pension Plan customer assistance and Service Canada’s Old Age Security, and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s application processing. A strike by administrative staff could also lead to a slowdown at the border.

The federal government has previously said it was seeking “an agreement that is fair to public servants and reasonable to taxpayers”.

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