Back to work and collective agreement: Public servants mobilized in Ottawa

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Return to the office and collective agreement: Public servants mobilized in Ottawa

Members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) marched in Ottawa on Friday to mark the mandatory return of federal public servants to the office.

The period of adjustment granted to federal officials for the return to office ends. In December, the Canadian government gave until March 31 for civil servants to report to work in person for at least two or three days a week, with some exemptions.

However, the decision continues to cause discontent among the main stakeholders and their unions. They were nearly 300 outside the offices of the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat on Friday, answering the call from the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC).

Local President for the District of Corrections Canada, Michel Lamanche, would have liked employees to have a say in setting the government's telecommuting policy.

We do not understand the employer's unilateral volte-face without having consulted either the national, regional or local union, he denounces.

Local President for the Correctional Services District of Canada, Michel Lamanche.

Mr. Lamanche is convinced that employees have demonstrated the effectiveness of the hybrid work system over the past three years.

At the same time, women members of the PSAC demonstrated to remind us that& #x27;they are particularly concerned by the return to face-to-face in a context of shortage of childcare places, especially those with young children.

The regional vice-president of the Union of Security and Justice Employees for the Quebec region, Andréanne Samson, denounces what she describes as discordance in the employer's discourse. She believes that women are disproportionately affected by this measure.

“The employer has to listen to us. We have to sit down with the unions, try to negotiate something that will meet the needs of our members, meet the needs of women because telework is now part of our lives. »

— Andréanne Samson, regional vice-president of the Union of Security and Justice Employees for the Quebec region

< p class="sc-v64krj-0 dlqbmr">The regional vice-president of the Union of Security and Justice Employees for the Quebec region, Andréanne Samson.

The union and the federal government return to the table negotiations next week to resume discussions on the renewal of collective agreements, this time with the help of a mediator.

For Patrick Ménard, regional vice-president of the Union of Security and Justice Employees for the Quebec region, it is necessary to hammer home the message.

We repeat ourselves , but we know that with the government, if we don't repeat ourselves, the message is not understood. So, not only do we repeat ourselves, but we also increase the intensity of our mobilization actions.

Patrick Ménard, regional vice-president of the Union of Security and Justice Employees for the Quebec region.

According to him, there is still hope around from the negotiating table. If no collective agreement is signed, a strike vote involving more than 100,000 public servants will be held.

“Yes [there is hope], otherwise we wouldn't be going back. We always hope that will change. We always hope that the employer is reasonable in its offers, otherwise we will take the ultimate means. It is within our reach. […] We are ready to strike. »

— Patrick Ménard, regional vice-president of the Union of Security and Justice Employees for the Quebec region

Several people are denouncing the offers of their employer. This is the case of Judith Côté, National Vice-President of the PSAC Canada Employment and Immigration Union.

Our collective agreement expired two years ago. The employer offers us ridiculous things. In fact, it gives us a step back. It does not offer us anything advantageous at the moment.

National Vice-President of the PSAC's Canada Employment and Immigration Union, Judith Côté.

She is sorry for the way the federal government consults his employees, accusing him of turning a deaf ear. She has no hope in the process starting next week.

I think the employer is trying to slow down. They don't want us to go on strike in April or May. If he had wanted to negotiate in good faith, he would have already done so, believes Ms. Côté.

Members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) marched in Ottawa on Friday to mark the mandatory return of federal civil servants to the office.

If no agreement should be signed, the government specifies that it will respect the right to strike of civil servants. In an email sent to Radio-Canada, Treasury Board President Mona Fortier says she is optimistic.

We are entering into negotiations through mediation with the PSAC to reach an agreement that is fair to public servants and reasonable to taxpayers, and we are optimistic that the discussions will be productive, she wrote.

With information from Rebecca Kwan

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