As federal workers continue to strike, Ottawa says it has tabled a “final” offer to the Public Service Alliance of Canada that addresses “all remaining” union demands, including a beefed-up wage package.
The nationwide strike stretched into an eleventh day Saturday as neither side has been able to resolve the labour dispute over wages and remote work.
The union had been seeking a wage increase of 13.5 per cent over three years, but has since “moved off” that demand.
In a statement released Saturday, the Treasury Board said a “final updated comprehensive offer” tabled Friday includes an “enhanced wage offer” that “builds” on recommendations by an independent arbitrator, without providing more details.
Earlier this year, that independent arbitrator recommended a nine per cent wage increase over three years. Ottawa previously tabled that offer – with a signing bonus — which was not accepted by the union.
“Along with the new wage package, we also presented solutions to address priorities such as telework, seniority, and contracting without impeding our ability to deliver services to Canadians,” the statement added.
“This is a fair, competitive and reasonable final offer, with wage and non-wage improvements, and we believe that employees should have an opportunity to review the details of it.”
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Treasury Board president Mona Fortier said in an open letter Monday the government has reached agreements with PSAC on more than 560 demands from the union.
But she said four key issues remained unresolved: wage increases, remote work as a negotiated right, a ban on contracting out, and deciding who gets laid off in the event of cuts based on seniority.
On Friday, PSAC confirmed that it had received the new offer from the federal government as both sides resumed talks.
“We hope to continue bargaining this weekend in order to reach a fair deal for our 120,000 federal public service members,” the union said in a statement.
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The strike has seen more than 100,000 federal public servants across the country walk off the job while the union negotiates a new collective agreement with Ottawa for some 155,000 workers, including those deemed essential and who must continue working.
As the strike continues, Canadians are facing federal service disruptions ranging from immigration services to passport applications.
PSAC represents roughly 120,000 federal public servants.
The Union of Taxation Employees (PSAC-UTE), a subdivision of PSAC, is separately negotiating a contract for more than 35,000 striking Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) workers.
— with files from Motorcycle accident toronto today’ Aaron D’Andrea and Sean Boynton
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