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Country's largest public sector union announces strike votes for more than 120,000 workers

Strike votes for members in the program and administrative services, operational services, technical services, and education and library science bargaining groups will take place from Feb. 22 to April 19, 2023. 
2019-08-23 Rideau-Vanier MP Mona Fortier MV1 MV1
Treasury Board President Mona Fortier. CityNews Ottawa file photo

The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSCA), Canada's largest public sector union, revealed that it is launching strike votes for more than 120,000 public service workers after talks broke down over wages and other key issues with the federal government, the union said. 

Strike votes for members in the program and administrative services, operational services, technical services, and education and library science bargaining groups will take place from Feb. 22 to April 19, 2023. 

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

The announcement comes weeks after PSAC and the Union of Taxation Employees said that 35,000 Canada Revenue Agency employees would hold a strike vote from Jan. 31 to April 7 of this year. 

PSAC declared an impasse in bargaining in May of last year after the government made a wage offer of 2.06 per cent per year that the union called insulting and out of touch with record-high inflation over the past two years. 

"We have been bargaining with the employer for nearly two years now," said Alex Silas, PSAC's regional executive vice-president for the National Capital Region on The Sam Laprade Show on Jan. 24. "Our teams have been ready and clear from the beginning with our demands on wages, on improvements of telework language, job security, work and life balance language and creating more equitable workplaces. We would have been more hopeful that the employer would have been mor ready to meaningfully negotiate with us on these demands, and they simply weren't."

Silas wants to be clear on the fact that no one wants to strike. 

"Our goal is to get a fair contract and fair wage increases for workers and set a standard for all workers coming out of the pandemic," he added. "We would love nothing more than to negotiate a fair contract, but we are going to use our right to strike if we need to."

Listen to the full interview with Alex Silas below:

 

 





About the Author: Anil Jhalli

Anil Jhalli is CityNews Ottawa's digital editor
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