The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), the largest union representing Canadian government employees, has announced its intention to go on strike if an agreement with the government cannot be reached. This move could significantly impact several essential government services, as over 155,000 public servants across more than 20 departments, including the Canada Revenue Agency, are expected to participate in the strike.
The PSAC has been negotiating with the government for nearly two years over a variety of issues, including job security, remote work arrangements, and fair wages. However, the two sides are still far apart on these matters, and the PSAC has reported that their members are falling behind while negotiations drag on. As a result, the union held a vote last week, which resulted in an overwhelming majority in favour of the strike.
If an agreement is not reached by 9 pm on Tuesday, the strike will begin at 12:01 am on Wednesday. The disruption in government services could have far-reaching consequences, including delays in the processing of income tax returns, immigration and asylum requests, passport applications, and foreign worker permits. It may also affect consular services and requests for veterans benefits.
The union has emphasised that their workers deserve fair wages and decent working conditions, and that the government must take their demands seriously. While some progress has been made at the bargaining table, it is clear that the two sides are still far apart on several key issues.
The PSAC is setting a deadline for negotiations to come to a close as they believe their members cannot wait any longer for a resolution. It remains to be seen how the strike will play out, and how the Canadians who rely on these essential government services are impacted.
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