Common issues: Facing record inflation, government’s latest wage offer still sets workers back

After two weeks of mediation at the Common Issues table, the federal government put forward a revised wage offer on the last day of talks that would still see more than 120,000 federal public service workers take what amounts to a significant pay cut in the face of record high inflation.

Mediation took place September 12-14 and 20-23 between PSAC’s Common Issues bargaining team and Treasury Board.

The revised offer of 1.5%, 3.0%, 2.0%, and 1.75% — averaging 2.06% per year over a four-year agreement — still falls well short of inflation and shows the government still has no real mandate to negotiate a reasonable contract with our members. The original offer of 1.5%, 2%, 1.75%, and 1.5% — averaging 1.7% per year — led PSAC to declare impasse in May.

As the cost of living continues to soar, PSAC members expect Treasury Board to come to the table with a fair contract that will protect workers’ buying power and prevent them from falling further behind. But this latest wage offer is just disrespectful and proves Treasury Board isn’t taking this seriously.

Treasury Board also dug in their heels and refused to meaningfully budge on any of the other key issues that matter most to members, including contracting out and better job security, equity in the workplace, and more work-life balance.

PSAC will now bring those issues to the forefront at Public Interest Commission hearings, to be scheduled this fall by the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board.

Meanwhile, dates have been set for mediation for the PA, SV, TC and EB groups.

  • PA: October 4-7
  • SV: October 11-14
  • TC: October 18-21
  • ​EB: October 25-27

If an agreement with the government following the Public Interest Commission process can’t be reached, PSAC members should be prepared to escalate their actions, up to and including taking strike action if necessary to reach a fair contract.

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September 26, 2022