Civil servants to resume talks with federal government in the midst of COVID-19

Civil servants to resume talks with federal government in the midst of COVID-19

OTTAWA — Contract talks are expected to resume next week for about 70,000 federal government employees, many of whom have been delivering emergency financial aid to millions of Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada, which represents about 140,000 civil servants, said Thursday the Trudeau government has agreed to return to the bargaining table beginning June 23 with a group comprising about half its members.

Talks are also expected to reignite the week of July 6 for nearly 30,000 employees at the Canada Revenue Agency.

A major sticking point for both groups of employees during negotiations in September revolved around wages.

Contract talks stalled last fall and PSAC was in the midst of holding strike votes in March when the pandemic started to take hold in Canada.

Those strike votes were suspended indefinitely.

Separately, PSAC has also been pushing for compensation for the more than 250,000 government employees impacted by Phoenix, the trouble-plagued government pay system.

While other unions settled on Phoenix compensation with the government months ago, PSAC rejected the terms, calling them inadequate.

PSAC said thousands of its members wrote to the government in recent weeks urging the Treasury Board Secretariat to get back to the table after seeing provinces, municipalities and large employers recognize employees for their work during the pandemic.

“It’s high time the federal government did the same for their employees,” PSAC National President Chris Aylward said in a statement.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 18, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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