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News > Canada

Canada Reaches Deal With 120,000 Striking Federal Workers

  •  Federal workers striking in Canada. May. 2, 2023.

    Federal workers striking in Canada. May. 2, 2023. | Photo: Twitter/@Stas70699731

Published 2 May 2023

"...over 35,000 employees are still in the process of negotiating..."

Canada has successfully concluded an agreement with approximately 120,000 federal employees who had embarked on a strike, thereby effectively terminating one of the most considerable public-sector stoppages in the nation's chronicles. The labor-action had caused significant service disruptions, including but not limited to, passport renewals and immigration services.


Canada's Largest Federal Public Service Union Goes on Strike

The majority of strikers are poised to resume their employment following a near fortnight stalemate; however, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) union revealed that over 35,000 Canada Revenue Agency employees, who embarked on a strike last month, are still in the process of negotiating.

“During a period of record-high inflation and soaring corporate profits, workers were told to accept less – but our members came together and fought for better,” PSAC National President Chris Aylward said in a statement.

“This agreement delivers important gains for our members that will set the bar for all workers in Canada.”

On April 19th, approximately 155,000 public workers, constituting one-third of Canada's workforce, initiated a strike, and joined picket lines at various locations across the nation. These workers press the need for cost-of-living wage hikes and improved telework adaptability.

The head of the Treasury Board, who serves as the representative of the federal employer, announced on Monday that the agreement had been reached after “many weeks of hard work, negotiation and compromise”.

“The best deals are reached at the bargaining table — we respect the right to negotiate and appreciate Canadians’ patience and understanding over the past two weeks,” Mona Fortier said in a statement.

She also said: “We are deeply grateful for public servants who work hard across the country to serve Canadians, and look forward to welcoming them back. These deals are fair, competitive, and reasonable, and bring stability to public servants and Canadians.”

The labor organization reported that it had achieved a wage hike of 12.6 percent for the contractual term spanning from 2021 to 2024. This outcome fell short of the union's intended 13.5 percent raise, but still exceeded the government's proposed increase of nine percent.

Regarding the topic of teleworking, a practice that a considerable number of employees became accustomed to amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, PSAC said it had secured “significant new protections”.

According to the statement, the use of a new "language in a letter of agreement" would require managers to evaluate requests for remote work on an individualized rather than a collective basis.

On Monday, a separate declaration was issued by the labor union, which stated that the persisting group of 35,000 employees within the federal revenue agency continued to participate in a strike action, as there were unresolved matters to be addressed.

According PSAC, the workers on strike endeavored to negotiate provisions within their collective agreement that would enable "telework arrangements", in addition to remuneration that corresponds to the "cost of living and inflationary pressures".

The labor union has asserted that the employees seek additional employment security measures, “including years of service recognition and protections against the contracting out of our jobs”.

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