Canada govt shifts approach to negotiations with PSAC, describes unresolved issues in open letter

Mona Fortier. Image credit Twitter page of Mona Fortier

In its ongoing negotiations with the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) on Monday, the federal government was reported to make a shift in its bargaining strategy by outlining its position on four key areas in an open letter addressed to Canadians.

Wage increases, control over telework arrangements, a ban on contracting out work and priority for senior staff in the event of downsizing are the four “key” demands, Treasury Board president Mona Fortier reportedly wrote and added,

“This round of negotiating has been a heavy lift for both parties,” she said in the letter.

Details in each of the four areas on its bargaining position in the letter were updated or reiterated by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, the government department, nominally the employer of bureaucrats.

After reportedly confirming the accuracy of the information in the letter, PSAC president Chris Aylward was reported saying that he considered it as a good signal and added,

“I actually applaud the minister for putting this letter out,” he said. “It’s the first time that [Fortier’s] actually put our priority issues on the table.”

The national strike for more than 155,000 federal public servants under PSAC which began on April 19 is now in its second workweek. 

Some government services including taxes, passports and immigration were disrupted when on Monday, the strikers moved the picket lines to more targeted locations.

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