Canada’s largest public sector union is launching strike votes for more than 120,000 public service workers, after the union says talks with the federal government broke down over wages.
The Public Service Alliance of Canada is launching nationwide strike votes for members in the Program and Administrative Services, Operational Services, Technical Services, and Education and Library Science
The collective agreements for all four groups expired in 2021. The votes will take place from Feb. 22 to April 19, the PSAC said in a news release.
“Wages are stalled, the cost of living is rising, and workers are being left behind,” Chris Aylward, PSAC’s national president, said in a news release. “Workers can’t wait. None of us can.”
The announcement comes two weeks after PSAC and the Union of Taxation Employees announces that 35,000 Canada Revenue Agency employees would hold a strike vote from Jan. 31 to April 7.
Last May, PSAC declared an impasse in contract talks with the federal government, accusing the government at the time of an “insulting” wage offer of 2.06 per cent per year that doesn’t keep up with inflation and the rising cost of living.
The union says the government “then refused to compromise during mediation in September and Public Interest Commission (PIC) hearings in December.”
Once the recommendations from the PIC reports come in, PSAC says it will be in a legal strike position if members vote in favour of a strike mandate.
PSAC is asking for a 4.5 per cent annual raise over three years.
Last week, Treasury Board and the CRA launched a labour board complaint alleging that PSAC is not bargaining in good faith.