One of the biggest demands for the PSAC is around pay. Some may say this is understandable with the high inflation rates and the interest rate climbing. These two economic issues are driving up the cost of living and if you can get a line put in the contract with your employer that would guarantee the increase in your annual salary could match the rate of climbing prices wouldn’t you? That sounds very pro-union but maybe that is very pro people have got to live and pay bills. The Government is that employer and should ensure that the people who provide us with services should be cared for and allowed a stable life. As negotiations continue, the strike will continue with more statements and actions of labour unrest.
the Public Service Alliance of Canada said PSAC members on strike would see their first reductions in pay starting on their May 10 or later pay periods.
The union says based on past precedents and expert advice from its members, they don’t anticipate any complications due to the Phoenix pay system.
“Based on past experience, members will most likely continue to receive pay from the employer while on strike and have pay deducted only after the strike concludes and leave without pay requests are submitted and processed,” PSAC says in the section about pay during a strike.
“These leave requests are no more likely to be affected by Phoenix than any other leave submission throughout the year.”
In the ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ sections of PSAC’s website, dated April 16, PSAC told its members, “Interruptions in pay would be unlikely, although it is possible.”
“If we take strike action, past practice shows that the employer would likely recover wages paid during the strike after a settlement is reached,” the union said.
“Members will enter any time missed due to job action in their departmental PeopleSoft upon return to office using the appropriate time code.”
The Public Service Alliance of Canada says members are expected to attend a picket line for a minimum of four hours per day to qualify for strike pay.
Members who usually work 20 hours or more each week will receive the following strike pay:
- Ontario and all provinces: $75 per day, for a maximum per calendar week of $375
- Yukon: $103.20 per day, for a maximum per calendar week of $516
- Northwest Territories: $117.35 per day, for a maximum per calendar week of $586.75
- Nunavut: $141 per day, for a maximum per calendar week of $705.
In January 2022, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and the Public Service Alliance of Canada – Union of Taxation Employees (PSAC-UTE) began negotiations on renewed collective agreements for the Program Delivery and Administrative Group (PDAS), which comprise approximately 39,000 employees.
The PSAC–UTE’s initial wage demand was a 29.5% increase over three years. In addition, PSAC–UTE has proposed a significant number of non-wage-related demands, which the CRA has conservatively estimated to be $1.2 billion or 52.8% of the PDAS group wage base.
Following PSAC–UTE declaring impasse in September 2022, a Public Interest Commission (PIC) was established. A PIC is mandated by the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board to assist the parties in coming to an agreement.
As part of the PIC process, the parties attended a hearing on January 27, 2023, where they provided information and arguments about the matters in dispute. Although the PIC report does not provide any recommendations on the outstanding proposals, the PIC expressed confidence that the parties can continue to find many areas of potential compromise and trade-off, through honest discussions and concessions by both parties.
In the core public administration, a February 15, 2023 PIC report for the common issues table, which includes all four PSAC-represented groups, recommended that the general economic increase over its recommended three-year collective agreements be as follows: 1.5% for 2021, 4.5% for 2022, and 3.0% for 2023.
During the mediation session between the CRA and the PSAC–UTE that began on April 17, 2023, the CRA tabled the following economic offer, which is in line with the offer provided by the Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada (TBS) to the PSAC during ongoing negotiations, and is in line with the PIC recommendation outlined above:
- Effective November 1, 2021: 1.5%
- Effective November 1, 2022: 3.5%
- Effective November 1, 2022, wage adjustment: 1.0%
- Effective November 1, 2023: 3%
The CRA’s offer of a 1.5% economic increase for 2021, the same amount recommended in the PIC report for that year, is consistent with agreements already signed with 21 bargaining units representing more than 40% of federal public servants.
The CRA’s offers to all bargaining agents take into consideration current economic conditions, such as other collective agreements for the public service and inflation, as well as our ability to attract and retain highly qualified employees, employment conditions in the CRA relative to other Canadian workplaces, and responsible fiscal management.
According to the Bank of Canada’s latest Monetary Policy report, Canada’s CPI inflation is continuing its projected fall, to around 3% in the middle of 2023. Recent data is reinforcing Governing Council’s confidence that inflation will continue to decline in the next few months.
Through good faith negotiations and hard work, the Government of Canada reached agreements with two bargaining agents that includes wage increases of more than 10% over four years. The same wage increase was recently approved for over 90,000 Canadian Forces members and the CRA firmly believes that this is a fair and reasonable offer for employees and taxpayers.
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