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OPINION – PSAC Announces Strike Votes for More Than 120,000 Federal Workers 

Ottawa – 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.  

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Lorne Oss

radiodon11@gmail.com fvn@shaw.ca 604 392 5834

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