What you need to know about strike votes

When and where exactly will strike votes be held? 

We are in the process of finalizing logistics around all strike votes and will provide you with the full schedule for voting sessions in the coming days, well ahead of time. 

Each voting session will also include an information session where all questions can be addressed. 

What constitutes a successful strike vote? 

A successful strike vote means that a simple majority (50% + 1) of members in your bargaining unit who cast a ballot voted in favour of strike action. 

Will we have strike preparation courses? If so, when and where?  

PSAC is committed to ensuring members are informed about and prepared for a possible strike. Strike preparation courses have already started rolling out in workplaces across the country and will be ramped up in early 2020. Your local union and regional office will be in touch with information about strike preparation courses being planned near you. 

When would we actually go on strike? 

A successful strike vote does not necessarily mean we will automatically go on strike. 

Treasury Board won’t budge unless we apply organized pressure. That’s why PSAC National President Chris Aylward has authorized a strike vote. 

A strike mandate will give the PSAC bargaining teams the leverage they need because the Trudeau government will want to avoid a labour disruption. The government is already in turmoil—they can’t risk even more disruption while they’re in a minority government situation. 

A strong strike mandate is the best way to reach a settlement quickly, and without having to take strike action. 

In the meantime, we can do a variety of workplace actions, including:

  • Encouraging our colleagues to wear ‘Strike Alert’ stickers and display other mobilization materials in the workplace. 
  • Heavily advertising strike training in and around the office. 
  • Holding workplace membership meetings to inform and organize. 
  • Organizing large lunchtime rallies just outside the workplace. 

What is “strike action” and how long would a strike last? 

If members vote for a strike and PSAC is still unable to reach an agreement with the employer at the bargaining table, the PSAC National President can authorize a strike.

A strike can involve a range of actions—for example, targeted activities in specific workplaces or a full walking off the job at sites across the country. PSAC's leadership will develop a plan and determine when, where and for how long strike actions will happen. 

Some examples of strike action include:

  • Strategic strike: A work stoppage by 10% of the bargaining unit at several key locations that will have the greatest impact.  
  • Rotating strike: A series of surprise, one-day walkouts at strategic locations.  
  • Sector-wide strike: A strike by all workers in a particular sector or industry.  
  • A lock-out: When the employer prevents members from working when in a legal strike position. 
  • General strike: A work stoppage by all PSAC members in a particular bargaining unit.
March 9, 2020