PSAC members furious over three-day in-person mandate, union to pursue legal action  

Today, with blatant disregard for the wellbeing of its workers, the government announced that come September, federal public service workers will be required to be in-office a minimum of three days per week.

PSAC members are incredibly frustrated and angered by this announcement. In every corner of the country, we have seen how the current in-office requirements aren’t being consistently or equitably managed by most departments.

We hear time and time again from workers obligated to report to offices where instead of conducting in-person work, they spend all day on virtual meetings with colleagues across the country.

In many offices our members are regularly forced to camp out in cafeterias or cram into awkward hallway meetings because of a shortage of available workspaces, and these problems will only continue to pile up.

Despite this, Treasury Board confirmed on a call today with bargaining agents that they are planning to proceed with reducing 50% of existing government office space. Their decision is not just a misstep; it's a failure by Canada’s largest employer to adapt, innovate, and truly lead in the face of change to the way work is done.

As recently as last week, PSAC and other unions specifically requested an update at the National Joint Council about the allegations that there may be a change to the policy. Treasury Board officials blatantly misled unions, denying any upcoming announcements about telework.

In addition, as part of PSAC’s agreement in the last round of negotiations, Treasury Board was obligated to consult with the union with the purpose of reviewing the outdated Directive on Telework. However, at no point during those discussions was there any indication of an increase to in-office attendance.

This decision has not only broken the trust between PSAC members and their employer, but very concretely, it violates the collective bargaining rights of thousands of workers.

Telework is currently a critical issue at the table for the FB group, currently holding strike votes across the country for more than 9,000 members at Canada Border Services Agency. Any changes to their terms and conditions of work while bargaining directly undermines their collective bargaining rights.

In response, PSAC will be filing an unfair labour practice complaint and examining additional legal options.

PSAC will be updating members and taking further action in the coming days. 



May 1, 2024