Federal government files complaint against PSAC, union reacts

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Federal government files complaint against PSAC, union responds

The Parliament of Ottawa in September 2020 (File photos).

A few hours after the federal government announced that it had filed a complaint against the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) for bargaining in bad faith, the latter reacted and in turn accused its employer of using ” tactics” to drag out negotiations.

The federal government announced Friday that it has filed a complaint with the Industrial Relations and Employment Commission. federal public (CRTESPF) against the PSAC. He accuses the union of failing in its obligation to bargain in good faith.

As the union's 165,000 public servants are called to vote on a strike mandate, the PSAC announced this week, the Government of Canada is fighting back.

The government states that it has clearly expressed its commitment to achieving a positive outcome at the bargaining table for employees in the Program and Administrative Services (PA), Technical Services (TC), Education and Library Science (EB) and operation (VS). But he also accuses the PSAC of being reluctant to reach agreements during this round of negotiations.

Since bargaining began in June 2021, the PSAC has flooded the bargaining tables with a number of costly proposals – over 500 for its five bargaining units. At the same time, she refused to prioritize her requests and act on her initial proposals, and she did not respond to the employer's global offers, denounces the Office of the President of the Treasury Board of Canada, Mona Fortier, in a press release.

The PSAC reacted a few hours later, in a press release, accusing the government of wanting to drag out the negotiations.< /p>

The complaint that the federal government has just filed against the PSAC, which it accuses of negotiating in bad faith, is just another of its tactics to drag out negotiations because it does not want to give its staff a fair and equitable employment contract, can we read there.

Rather than stalling negotiations with frivolous complaints, the government should roll up its sleeves to reach a decent deal at the bargaining table. The longer the talks are delayed, the more our members lose ground. All they want are better working conditions and wages that take into account runaway inflation, the union added.

Since the announcement of the complaint , part of the opposition was not stingy with comments.

Bloc-Québécois spokesperson for employment, Louise Chabot, fears that the complaint of the government is sending the wrong signal.

Louise Chabot, MNA Thérèse-De Blainville and Bloc Québécois employment critic.

[I am] surprised because pleading a bad faith negotiation is not to be taken lightly. Negotiating in good faith, it takes two to dance. The best settlement we can have is negotiations. It's not about table time. You can have a lot of time at the table, but it doesn't go anywhere because the talks aren't serious. On the side of the Treasury Board, as an employer, there is a responsibility to make a significant opening to unions that are without a contract of employment, she put forward.

Same story with the deputy leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP) of Canada, Alexandre Boulerice.

[I am] a little surprised by the position of the Liberal government, which, unfortunately, risks stirring up tensions. I'm not sure that's a tactic that will make the parties more interested in talking to each other. The union has always said it was ready to negotiate, but since the government's employer mandate is not changing, we seem to be heading for an impasse. Is throwing accusations and filing complaints really the best way to respect public service employees? We are not sure, he commented.

Alexandre Boulerice, MP for Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie and deputy leader of the NDP.

Yet for its part, the government insists that it wants to continue negotiating at the bargaining table for a positive outcome.

When this proved impossible, the government supported the establishment of the Public Interest Commission (PIC) and the appointment of a mediator as a constructive step to move negotiations forward. However, throughout the PIC hearings, the PSAC was again unable to make reasonable efforts to reach settlements. And even before the Commission's reports were released, the PSAC announced that it would hold strike votes regardless of the PIC's recommendations.

“It is clear that the PSAC is seeking to precipitate a strike without making every reasonable effort to reach a collective agreement. ”

— Excerpt from the Office of the President of the Treasury Board of Canada press release

PSAC's actions fail to meet its obligation to bargain in good faith , launches the government.

  • Public servants return to office: PSAC announces that it will file a complaint

  • Coalition of Federal Public Servants Opposes Mandatory Return to Office

With this move, the government is sending a message clear to the unions. He is very serious, analyzes the professor of management and law at the University of Ottawa, Gilles LeVasseur.

Gilles LeVasseur, professor of management and law at the University of Ottawa. (File photo).

It's very very rare that we see this approach from a government body, he is ready to work within his framework, but he is not ready to make many exceptions, that is the important message that must be understood in this process, he said.

In its complaint, the government asks the CRTESPF to order the PSAC to return to the bargaining table.

We are convinced that if the two parties come together with a real intention to negotiate, it will be possible to reach new collective agreements for employees, says the Office of the President of the Treasury Board of Canada, citing the agreement reached in October with the Association of Canadian Financial Officers (ACFO) for the Controller Function (CT) group.

With information from Patrick Foucault

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