The federal government is accusing a key public-sector union of not bargaining in good faith, and, as a result, has filed a complaint with Canada’s labour relations board.
In a statement Friday, the Treasury Board of Canada said the Public Service Alliance of Canada has demonstrated an unwillingness to reach agreements during an ongoing round of negotiations, leading to its complaint to the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board.
“From the start of negotiations in June 2021, the PSAC has flooded the bargaining tables with costly proposals – over 500 across its five bargaining units. At the same time, they have refused to prioritize their requests, refused to move on their initial proposals, and did not respond to the employer’s comprehensive offers,” said the statement.
Although the statement said renewed collective agreements can be secured if both parties come together with a genuine intent to negotiate, it added that “it is clear that the PSAC is seeking to precipitate a strike without making every reasonable effort to enter into a collective agreement.”
But the union disputed the claims of the federal government, saying that the government’s action are a stalling tactic to deny more than 165,000 workers who have been in talks for more than 18 months a fair contract.
PSAC National President Chris Aylward said, in a statement, that the government expects workers to take a real pay cut by accepting a wage offer below inflation, have refused to negotiate remote work and better work-life balance, and have rejected union calls for mandatory anti-oppression training for all workers and managers.
“There’s no doubt the best way to reach a fair contract is at the negotiating table – but it’s becoming clearer every day: the only way we’ll reach an agreement with this government that supports workers is with a strong strike mandate from our members,” Mr. Aylward said.
For that reason, Mr. Aylward said the union has announced strike votes for its 35,000 Canada Revenue Agency workers, and is moving toward potential job action for federal public service workers at Treasury Board, who make up another 120,000 of their members.
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PRIME MINISTER’S DAY
Private meetings in Ottawa.
No schedules released for party leaders.
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Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on how federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra could show a little more red-hot anger at airlines: “Transport Minister Omar Alghabra is a nice guy and that’s a liability at a moment when people want him to be mean. The holiday travel disruptions that left a lot of Canadians stranded – struggling to rebook, or find luggage, or figure out when the heck they can go home – has built up anger against airlines and airports. The villagers are gathering, and they’re looking around for pitchforks. In the meantime, Mr. Alghabra has sounded measured, or powerless, tweeting that the situation was unacceptable.”
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Konrad Yakabuski (The Globe and Mail) on how Bill Morneau’s talents were wasted in Justin Trudeau’s Ottawa: “The portrait of his time in government that Mr. Morneau paints in his new book, Where To From Here, serves as a cautionary tale for future leaders on how not to alienate the best members of their teams and a disillusioning insider account about how the Trudeau government works. A Bay Street veteran with solid business credentials, Mr. Morneau’s talents were largely wasted in a government that obsesses about winning the news cycle and cares little about fiscal matters.”
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Editor’s note: A previous version of this newsletter incorrectly stated that PSAC is Canada's largest public-sector union.
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