Federal government touts 'final' offer to striking public service union as fair
OTTAWA — The federal government says the contract proposal extended on Friday to the union representing more than 100,000 striking public servants is its final offer.
The Treasury Board issued a statement Saturday that said the offer to striking Public Service Alliance of Canada workers includes a better wage package and solutions to deal with priorities such as telework and seniority, but offered no further details.
"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," the government said.
The comments came as the strike affecting thousands of government and Canada Revenue Agency workers dragged into an eleventh day.
More than 100,000 members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada walked off the job April 19 after the union and government failed to reach new contract deals.
The contracts affect 155,000 federal workers in total but the government deemed about 46,000 of them as essential workers who are not taking part in the job action.
The union issued a statement on Friday confirming it had received the government's offer but declining further comment, saying only that it had resumed negotiations with the Treasury Board and hoped to continue talks over the weekend.
"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.
The PSAC contracts expired in 2021.
The government's last published wage offer was to be backdated to 2021, with a 1.5 per cent increase that year, followed by a 4.5 per cent raise in 2022 and another of three per cent in 2023.
The union initially asked for 13.5 per cent over the term and while it says it has adjusted that ask, it has not said what the new request is.
Aside from pay, other issues described by the government as sticking points earlier this week include the flexibility to work remotely, the reduction of the government's use of outside contractors and the implementation of seniority rules in the event of layoffs.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 29, 2023.
The Canadian Press