The cost of living is rising quickly across Canada, and PSAC members — and workers across the country — risk being left behind if we don’t negotiate wages that keep up with inflation. That’s why our common issues bargaining team is pushing for fair wage increases that keep up with rising costs for more than 110,000 PSAC members.
The team met with Treasury Board December 13-15.
Already this year, it costs you 20 per cent more to feed your family than it used to, and the price of essentials we rely on every day is outpacing wages. Grocery bills are set to rise by $966 for a typical family of four next year — the highest increase in 12 years. The price of fuel, hydro and natural gas are on the rise too, with some households paying as much as 20 per cent more to heat their homes this winter.
Inflation is expected to remain high for the next few years, but wages haven’t budged, and our actual purchasing power is quickly shrinking. Now more than ever, we need fair wages, good working conditions and inclusive workplaces — not just for PSAC members, but for all workers.
As Canada’s largest employer, the federal government needs to lead by example and show they’ll be here for everyone — setting the bar with wage increases that don’t leave workers behind. Otherwise, the government risks losing talented and dedicated workers to employers who recognize that in a challenging labour market with soaring inflation, workers deserve better.
PSAC members got us through the pandemic by going above and beyond for Canadians, delivering the services and benefits that millions of people depended on. Failing to increase wages to meet the rapidly rising costs of living would amount to a pay cut for our members that have been here for Canadians when we needed them most.
New provisions to enhance job security
Our common issues bargaining team also discussed new proposals regarding job security. These negotiations come at a critical moment, as the current period of economic uncertainty emphasizes the need for a fairer workforce adjustment (WFA) process.
Workforce adjustment is a situation where the employer decides that the services of one or more indeterminate employees will no longer be needed because of a lack of work, the discontinuance of a function, the relocation of jobs, the closure of an office or work location, or contracting out.
The current WFA process threatens more employees with potential displacement than necessary and forces workers to re-interview for their own jobs, resulting in serious stress and other mental health impacts on affected members.
Our new WFA proposal would ensure a fair and transparent process. It opposes all forms of precarious employment and makes sure all members have timely access to indeterminate employment. We’re also asking the employer to recognize the reality of the changing workplace by offering more opportunities for employment through remote work.
Show your support
Member support throughout the bargaining process is critical to our success. Show your support by using our virtual background for all your video meetings and calls, applying the social media frame to your profile photo, or printing the poster to display in your work area.
Upcoming bargaining dates
The bargaining team meets with the employer again February 1–3, 2022.
Please be sure to keep your contact information up to date via the member portal to receive all the latest updates as we negotiate your next contract.
This article was first posted on the PSAC website.