Ottawa says its 'final offer' to officials is fair and reasonable
Chad Hipolito The Canadian Press Throughout the past week, strikers have protested from one end to the other side of the country to voice their dissatisfaction with the discussions with the government.
The federal government calls its new offer presented Friday to the nearly 150,000 public service employees who have been on strike for 11 days now “fair, competitive and reasonable” — and warns that it is an “offer final”.
In a brief statement on Saturday, Treasury Board said its latest offer “meets all remaining demands” of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and touches on issues like telecommuting. , seniority and subcontracting — three points that were stumbling blocks in the negotiations.
“This final offer, which includes improvements to salary and non-salary conditions, is fair, competitive and reasonable, and we believe that public servants should have the opportunity to review the details to assess it,” argued the Secretariat. from the Treasury Board of Canada in its statement.
The federal government, however, did not go into the details of its new offer, reserving this information for the negotiation tables. He still called his proposal an “updated final comprehensive” offer.
“We remain at the negotiating table to reach agreements that benefit our public servants and are reasonable for taxpayers, ending service disruptions as quickly as possible,” added Treasury Board.
More than 100,000 PSAC members walked off the job on April 19 after failing to reach an agreement with Ottawa on the terms of a new collective agreement. PSAC employment contracts expire in 2021.
The collective agreements affect a total of 155,000 federal workers, but the government has deemed about 46,000 of them essential workers who do not participate in the job action.
The union confirmed on Friday that it had received the government's new offer, but preferred not to comment further due to the resumption of discussions at the bargaining table.
“PSAC resumed talks with Treasury Board, who came back to the table with a new offer. We hope to continue discussions over the weekend in order to reach a fair and equitable agreement for our 120,000 members who report to this employer,” the union wrote on social media.
“Discussions have also resumed with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), where 35,000 of our members work,” it added.
On Saturday afternoon, a spokesperson for the union confirmed that the exchanges were still continuing this weekend, without advancing further on the content of the discussions “out of respect for the negotiation process”.
A turbulent week
Throughout the past week, strikers have marched across the country to voice their displeasure over talks with the government.
While the rallies took place in front of many federal buildings at the start of the strike, the PSAC has gradually turned its attention to “strategic locations” that could impact federal activities in recent days.
Officials demonstrated in front of the entrances to ports, including that of Montreal, and border crossings, such as Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, in Montérégie.
Before his new offer of On Friday, the federal government offered a 9% wage increase over three years to civil servants, retroactive to 2021. For its part, the union claimed to have adjusted its initial demand of 13.5% over three years, but it did not reveal no new figure.
As the strike continues, Canadians are facing a wide range of disruptions to federal services, from immigration services to passport applications.
In the height of tax season, the CRA also acknowledged that “some services may be delayed or not provided at all”, but maintained the deadline for filing tax returns at Monday, May 1, as planned.