Canadian government approves collective bargaining deals to end industrial strife

By on 27/06/2023 | Updated on 27/06/2023
A picture of Mona Fortier
Minister Fortier speaking at the Global Government Digital Summit 2022, in Ottawa, Canada

The government of Canada has approved renewed collective bargaining agreements with four public service trade unions to bring to an end long-running industrial action that saw officials strike for 12 days in April.

The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBCS) formalised the tentative agreements reached between the government and unions on 1 May, after they were approved by union members.

The deals include a 12.6% pay rise compounded over the life of the agreement from 2021-2024.

When the deal was announced, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) said the agreement also includes “new and improved remote work language” that will offer officials additional protection so they are not subject to arbitrary decisions about remote work.

The TBCS last week also signed agreements with bargaining units represented by the Canadian Association of Professional Employees (CAPE), the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 104, and the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers (PAFSO). In total, eight collective agreements have now been updated, representing 138,000 public service employees.

Read more: Canadian public service strike ends as deal reached over pay and remote work

Signing the agreement, Mona Fortier, the president of the Treasury Board, said: “I am very pleased that we have been able to renew collective agreements for 66% of all represented employees.

“Public servants across the country work hard to serve Canadians, and we will continue to work toward negotiating agreements that reflect the value of this important work while remaining reasonable for taxpayers.”

Unions will meet with Treasury Board representatives this week to formally sign the new collective agreements, and once signed employers have 180 days to implement wage increases, wage adjustments and allowances.

In total, 10 out of 28 collective agreements have been updated this year as part of the 2023 pay negotiations. Sixteen additional bargaining units are in active negotiations, while two bargaining units are still in negotiation from the 2018 round of bargaining.

Read more: Agricultural advice AI wins Canada’s Public Service Data Challenge

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About Richard Johnstone

Richard Johnstone is the executive editor of Global Government Forum, where he helps to produce editorial analysis and insight for the title’s audience of public servants around the world. Before joining GGF, he spent nearly five years at UK-based title Civil Service World, latterly as acting editor, and has worked in public policy journalism throughout his career.

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