Two Different Views Between Ottawa and the Federal Public Employees Association

Negotiations between the federal government and the Canadian Public Service Alliance (PSAC) to renew the collective agreements began with a fine gap between the two parties and, above all, a very different view of the current economic context in the country.

While the PSAC talks about inflationary pressure and calls for increases that take this into account for its members, the Federal Treasury says it must make “reasonable” offers for Canadians and that it must also take into account the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The country’s largest union of public employees says it has made demands for a 4.5% annual increase, tied to inflation, “to help workers keep their heads above water and to ensure PSAC members and their families are not left behind.”

“Inflation reached 3.4% last year and is expected to exceed 4% this year,” the coalition said.

According to the PSAC, the Treasury Board made bids between 1.5% and 2% annually during a meeting on the commonalities of various groups of federal civil servants, from March 28-31.

The Treasury Board did not confirm these figures when asked about them. He reportedly remained committed to negotiating in good faith, but also had to take into account the current economic context, “at a time when Canadians are experiencing job losses and financial hardship related to the pandemic, which its members are experiencing.” [de l’Alliance] They are not confronted.”

“Our offerings to all bargaining agents take into account the current economic situation, including settlements reached in other collective agreements, the government’s ability to attract and retain highly qualified personnel, federal government employment conditions in relation to other Canadian workplaces and responsible financial management. The Treasury Board Secretariat said via email.

If the government thinks it’s going to pass the pandemic bill to our members, that’s wrong.

“The Government of Canada remains committed to negotiating in good faith and reaching agreements that are fair to employees, given the current and reasonable economic environment for Canadians,” he added.

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The coalition describes this government as ridiculous offers. “It is an insult to our members who have been serving Canadians on the front lines since the start of the pandemic. If the government thinks they are going to pass the pandemic bill to our members, that is wrong,” said Chris Aylward, national PSAC president.

He says the two sides are “not on the same page” at the moment. “If the Treasury does not make an offer that takes into account the skyrocketing cost of living, we will have no choice but to intensify our pressure tactics across the country, or even strike votes.”

PSAC calls on its members to increase pressure on Trudeau’s government. In particular, it will hold a “virtual working day” on April 14th. The union organization warns that “we will be drowning in the voicemails of MPs to demand fair wages and better working conditions.”

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