Tag Archives: Strike

We’re in this together: Strike votes for 120,000 PSAC members

Since the beginning of the pandemic, you and other PSAC members have stepped up by helping Canadians when they needed it most — whether your work got done from home or the workplace.

But instead of showing their appreciation for workers at the bargaining table, all we’ve seen from Treasury Board is total disrespect and disregard for the issues that matter most to PSAC members.

That’s why we’ve made the difficult decision to hold strike votes for 120,000 hard-working federal public service workers in the Program and Administrative Services, Operational Services, Technical Services, and Education and Library Science bargaining groups from February 22 to April 19, 2023.

Register to vote 

We need to hold the line on fair wages that will prevent you from falling further behind as the cost of living increases. We believe in good, secure public service jobs, and an end to contracting out and privatization within the federal public service. We’re calling for solutions to harassment, discrimination and systemic racism in the workplace, so all workers feel safe on the job. And we’ll continue to fight to enshrine remote work and the right to disconnect in our collective agreements for better work-life balance.

Good wages. Protection from discrimination. Safe workplaces. Work-life balance. Is that too much to ask? We don’t think so.

Unfortunately, Treasury Board is hell-bent on pushing through serious concessions that impact your rights, including reducing job security and access to some leaves. And their insulting wage offer of 2.06% per year over four years is asking more than 120,000 hard-working PSAC members to take a big pay cut

To add insult to injury, the government imposed a flawed hybrid work plan on federal public service workers just days before the holidays, even though we’re negotiating remote work at the table and we’ve continued to serve Canadians effectively regardless of where the work gets done.

You deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Treasury Board’s stalling tactics and demands for major concessions are unacceptable and are hurting our members and their families. That’s why we need your support.

Register to vote

Going on strike is never our first choice and it doesn’t mean we’ll automatically call one. But securing a strong strike mandate from our membership shows we’re willing to fight and will give us the leverage we need to reach a fair and decent contract. And if we need to take job action to get the collective agreement you deserve, then that’s exactly what we’ll do.

Together, we have the strength in numbers to fight for a contract that makes real gains for our members. This is our opportunity to make a meaningful difference in our workplaces, and we strongly urge you to vote in favour of a strike mandate. To give you as many opportunities as possible to participate in strike votes, we’ll be holding strike information sessions both in-person and virtually.

Your voting credentials will be sent to your personal, non-work email or by mail to your home address if we don’t have a personal email on file. You will need these credentials to register for a strike vote session. All virtual sessions are national votes, so you may register for any virtual session. If you haven’t received your voting credentials from PSAC via your personal, non-work email or mail, you may need to update your contact information before you can register to vote.

Thank you for your continued support.

In solidarity,

Chris Aylward
National President
Public Service Alliance of Canada

This article was first posted on the PSAC website.

PSAC announces strike votes for more than 120,000 federal workers

The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) is launching nationwide strike votes for more than 120,000 federal public service workers after talks broke down over wages and other key issues. Strike votes for members in the Program and Administrative Services, Operational Services, Technical Services, and Education and Library Science bargaining groups will be conducted from February 22 to April 19, 2023.

“Everyone deserves fair pay and safer workplaces. Together, we’re taking a stand for workers,” said Chris Aylward, PSAC national president. “Wages are stalled, the cost of living is rising, and workers are being left behind. Workers can’t wait. None of us can.”

After more than a year of negotiations, PSAC declared impasse in bargaining in May 2022 after the government made a wage offer of 2.06% per year that’s completely out of touch with record-high inflation over the past two years. The government then refused to compromise during mediation in September and Public Interest Commission (PIC) hearings in December.

The Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board is expected to release its PIC reports this winter with their non-binding recommendations to reach an agreement. After the Commission issues its reports, PSAC will be in a legal strike position if members vote in favour of a strike mandate.

“Federal public service workers have been here when Canadians needed them most – seeing us through one crisis after another,” said Aylward. “Now, the government needs to be here for workers, because while they stall on making things right, we all pay the price.”

PSAC and the Union of Taxation Employees (UTE) recently announced strike votes for 35,000 Canada Revenue Agency workers. In total, PSAC represents more than 165,000 federal public service workers at impasse in negotiations with the federal government moving towards job action to secure a contract that protects workers from the rising cost of living, offers better work-life balance, protection from harassment, racism and discrimination in the workplace and ends the contracting out of public service jobs.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada is Canada’s largest federal public service union, representing nearly 230,000 workers in every province and territory in Canada, including more than 120,000 federal public service workers employed by Treasury Board. Our members are the backbone of Canada’s public services – protecting our borders, inspecting our food, providing vital social services and ensuring our vast lands and oceans are safe and sustainable.

This article was first posted on the PSAC website.

Government announces historic anti-scab legislation

The federal government’s move this week to ban the use of replacement workers is an historic moment for labour in Canada. PSAC has long fought for protections against the use of scab workers during strikes.

The government has announced the start of a consultation process to develop legislation to ban the use of scabs (replacement workers) in federally regulated workplaces. The process includes an open consultation until December 16, with the expected introduction of legislation by early 2023.

PSAC looks forward to participating in this consultation process to strengthen the collective bargaining rights of PSAC members. We will work to ensure that legislation includes:

  • No loopholes. When unionized workers are on strike or locked out, no one will be able to perform their work – not new or temporary hires, not management, not workers in other bargaining units, students or other workers. The work stops…full stop;
  • Provisions to levy hefty financial penalties for employers that violate the new rules. Employers need to feel the pinch to deter them from hiring scab labour;
  • Rules that prevent employers from trying to contract out, transfer or discontinue work once the bargaining process begins, in anticipation of a strike or lock-out; and,
  • Quick and clear legal avenues to pursue complaints when employers break the rules.

We know that free and fair collective bargaining – without the threat of scabs taking workers’ jobs or imposing back-to-work legislation – is the best avenue to reach good agreements and stable workplaces. The use of scabs pits working people against each other and takes advantage of non-unionized workers who are desperate for work.

We look forward to meaningful consultation and progressive, robust legislation that protects the rights of workers.

This article was first posted on the PSAC website.

TB bargaining: Ramp up the pressure by taking strike training

Icone discussion PSAC-AFPC

While PSAC attends mediation with Treasury Board and prepares to make our case at the Public Interest Commission hearings this fall, we’re escalating our pressure on the government by launching strike training for all members in the PA, SV, TC, and EB groups.

“We are preparing to fight for a fair contract if the government continues to ignore the plight of workers,” said PSAC National President Chris Aylward. “PSAC members across the country are taking strike training so that we’re ready for any possible outcome.”

As the cost of living remains at record highs for workers, Treasury Board has refused to meaningfully budge on a fair and reasonable wage offer that would prevent members from falling further behind. They’ve also dug in their heels and outright rejected our proposals on remote work and mandatory training on anti-oppression and discrimination.

Regional strike training preparation

Regional offices across the country are rolling out introductory strike training targeted at members working for Treasury Board. Contact your nearest PSAC regional office or visit your PSAC regional website for more information.

Training covers the collective bargaining process, key outstanding bargaining issues, the importance of mobilization on our bargaining power, the strike vote process, and more. The content is presented in various formats including a full day intensive training, a half-day overview, and a shorter introductory session. All general strike-related questions will be answered during the training.

Online strike training preparation

Education makes our union stronger. That’s why, in addition to in-person training, PSAC has developed an online strike preparation course that members can complete at their own pace.

The three-hour, self-led course will help Treasury Board members learn more about what strikes are, how they work, and where they fit in the bargaining process. Other topics covered include:

  • How strikes can make major gains for workers
  • PSAC strikes that our members won during the pandemic
  • The basic structure of strikes at PSAC
  • Strike logistics, including strike pay and essential services
  • What you can do right now to ensure we win

Enroll in online strike training today

When you finish the course, make sure to download your course certificate and tell your friends and colleagues about PSAC’s online education opportunities.

Frequently asked questions

PSAC has compiled a list of frequently asked questions about Treasury Board bargaining, mobilization, and strike votes.

This page will be updated as more information becomes available, so check back frequently.

Stay informed and engaged

Getting involved and taking action are key as we push for a fair contract. Be prepared, get mobilized, stay engaged, and be ready to take action:

Keep your contact information up to date to receive all the latest bargaining updates.

This article was first posted on the PSAC website.

FB group: Tentative agreement reached with CBSA/Treasury Board

After more than three years without a contract and unprecedented mobilization by FB members across Canada, the PSAC-CIU bargaining team reached a tentative agreement with Treasury Board and CBSA late Friday, August 6 following a 36-hour, round-the-clock, marathon negotiation session.

There are no concessions in the new tentative agreement. The improvements achieved are the product of the hard work and dedication of both the FB bargaining team and members throughout this round of bargaining.

A full explanation of the new agreement, and a copy of the new language, will be provided over the coming weeks once it has been fully translated. PSAC-CIU’s bargaining team unanimously recommends ratification of the new agreement. If ratified, the settlement will improve FB members’ working conditions in several important ways.


Pay and Allowances

Wage settlement details

The total compensation for all FB group members amounts to a minimum compounded increase of 8.08% over the collective agreement’s four-year term. All wage increases are retroactive.

  • Effective June 21, 2018 – increase to rates of pay: 2.8%
  • Effective June 21, 2019 – increase to rates of pay: 2.2%
  • Effective June 21, 2020 – increase to rates of pay: 1.35%
  • Effective June 21, 2021 – increase to rates of pay: 1.5%

Uniformed member meal period allowance

After years of seeking parity with other uniformed law enforcement personnel, and three Public Interest Commission (PIC) recommendations, the team has finally achieved compensation for meal periods for uniformed members of our group.

A new, pensionable, annual meal period allowance of $5,000 will be paid to all uniformed CBSA employees. This means the agreement, including the allowance, provides for an overall pensionable increase over four years of:

  • 15.07% at the top rate FB-2
  • 14.14% at the top rate FB-3
  • 13.86% at the top rate FB-4
  • 13.38% at the top rate FB-5

Lump sum payout for non-uniformed members

  • All non-uniformed employees will receive a lump sum payment of $1,000.

Implementation payment

All members of the FB bargaining unit will receive a $500 lump sum payment for late implementation in the last round of negotiations.

There will be a six-month delay in the implementation of new allowances that will be compensated with a lump-sum payment of an equal value.

Pension (25-Out)

In conjunction with the settlement, Treasury Board provided a written commitment to PSAC to resubmit the FB group’s proposal to introduce legislative amendments providing enhanced early retirement benefits under the public service pension plan, and to facilitate an expedited opportunity to bring forward its related business case to the Public Service Pension Advisory Committee.


CBSA has committed in writing that all employees have the right to union representation in PSI investigation meetings and provided new protections in the context of employees placed on investigatory suspension.

Grievance procedure

A streamlined grievance procedure, with a reduction in the grievance process from four levels to three levels, which will reduce the time taken to hear grievances.

Workplace culture

Letter of understanding between Treasury Board and PSAC creating a National Joint Committee to tackle workplace culture problems at CBSA.

Article 43 – Leave with pay for family-related responsibilities

Expansion of leave provision to include care of a person who stands in the place of a relative for the employee, regardless of blood-relationship between such person and the employee.

Article 46 – Bereavement leave with pay

Expansion of leave provision to include one-time bereavement leave for a person who stands in the place of a relative for the employee, regardless of the blood relationship between such person and the employee.

Article 53 – Domestic violence leave (NEW)

Up to 75 hours of annual leave for employees who are subject to domestic violence.

Appendix C – Workforce adjustment

Increase in education allowance from $15,000 to $17,000 for indeterminate employees who are laid off during the workforce adjustment process.

Article 30 – Designated paid holidays

Inclusion of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation per the legislated change.

Article 40 – Parental leave without pay

For parents covered by EI and the QPIP, the introduction of extended parental leave without pay for up to 86 weeks, with no impact on the five-year limit in Article 41.

Additional week under the EI Act

If both parents work in the public service and they have divided the full 40 weeks of parental leave, one of the two parents can receive an additional week.

Additional weeks under the QPIP

If both adoptive parents work in the public service and they have divided the full 37 weeks of adoption leave, one of the two parents can receive two additional weeks. If both biological parents work in the public service and they take all 32 weeks of parental leave, as well as the five weeks of paternity leave, one of the two parents can receive two additional weeks.

Change in the number of weeks of parental leave with allowance

New maximum of 57 weeks of parental leave per couple with a 93 per cent top-up. This will allow for the inclusion of five paternity weeks, under the QPIP, where both parents work in the public service and the inclusion of five or eight new weeks of parental leave under the Employment Insurance Act, where both parents work in the public service.

Under the EI Act – Parental allowance for extended leave

Parents covered by EI over the new extended leave period will be eligible for a supplementary allowance equivalent to 55.8 per cent of their weekly rate of pay.

Repayment formula

Addition of Schedule V of the Act, which allows mobility between the core administration and 26 other separate agencies, including the Canada Revenue Agency, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Parks Canada and the National Research Council, without an obligation to repay allowances. This change gives more flexibility to parents who wish to change positions within the federal public service.

New Article 42 – Compassionate care and caregiving leave

New caregiving leave provisions include the three types of leave provided for under EI:

    • Compassionate Care Benefits
    • Family Caregiver Benefits for Children
    • Family Caregiver Benefits for Adults

The leave is for the same duration as stipulated in EI and includes the applicable waiting period. Leave granted under this clause shall count towards severance pay, vacation leave and pay increments.

This agreement was the product of great solidarity and perseverance  on the part of our FB members. We can all be proud of what we achieved together. The FB bargaining team unanimously recommends ratification of the tentative agreement.

This article has also been posted on the PSAC website.

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