The union representing 120,000 federal public servants says an “overwhelming majority” of its members have voted in favor of a strike.
Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) on Wednesday morning announced the results of its strike votes, which were held between February 22 and April 11, for workers in program and administrative services, technical services, education and library science, and operational service groups.
The four bargaining units involved are part of the Treasury Board Secretariat, a central government agency that effectively operates as a nerve center for important work related to the basic functioning of the federal government.
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Earlier this year, the federal government lodged two complaints against PSAC, claiming the union was not negotiating in “good faith” for a new deal.
The government alleges that PSAC has “flooded the bargaining tables with costly proposals” with at least 500 proposals in its five bargaining units, while adding that PSAC “refused to prioritize their requests, Refused to move forward on their initial offers, and did not respond to the employer’s comprehensive offers.
The PSAC left the bargaining table on September 1, 2022, during the sixth negotiating session and declared an impasse. The parties had been negotiating since last summer.
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The union has said that the federal government’s move to file the complaint is “just another obstructionist tactic to deny workers a fair contract.” It has alleged that the government has refused to “put remote working and better work-life balance on the table”.
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PSAC, one of Canada’s largest unions, announced last week the results of a strike vote among members of the Union of Taxation Employees, a component of PSAC that represents the 35,000 employees of the Canada Revenue Agency .
According to a statement issued Friday from the Union of Taxation Employees and the Public Service Alliance of Canada, members voted “overwhelmingly” in favor of taking strike action.
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The final round of talks between PSAC and CRA is set for 17–20 April, with CRA members holding a legal strike until 14 April.
When combined, the 35,000 CRA employees and 120,000 Treasury Board employees make up 155,000 federal employees, roughly half of the workforce of 335,957 employees employed with the federal public service.
– with files from Eric Stober
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