May 1, 2023: Over 150,000 government employees, members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, had been in a legal strike position since April 19, 2023.
The IRCC workers will be returning to work today, restoring the processing capacity.
Various other important services such as passports, non-essential Government services which were halted as a result of this strike will be restored.
While certain services will remain operational, applicants should expect delays in application processing, citizenship ceremonies, and in-person appointments.
IRCC Strike Updates: The Latest Scoop
May 1, 2023: After almost two years of intense bargaining and one of the largest strikes in Canadian history, good news has arrived for some workers.
The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and the Treasury Board have reached a tentative agreement for over 120,000 workers who provide important services to Canadians.
However, 30,000 Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) employees still remain on strike.
Now that the strike is over for Treasury Board workers, members of the PA, SV, TC, and EB groups need to return to work starting May 1 at 9 a.m. ET or their next scheduled shift.
This agreement will restore very important services such as Passports, and immigration services.
During a time of high inflation and rising corporate profits, workers were asked to accept less. But PSAC members joined together and fought for better wages and working conditions.
THIS AGREEMENT DELIVERS IMPORTANT GAINS FOR OUR MEMBERS THAT WILL SET THE BAR FOR ALL WORKERS IN CANADA.Chris Aylward, PSAC national president
PSAC announced the update on the negotiations on their campaign’s website Workerscantwait.ca.
Day 12 Update of the IRCC’s Strike: Negotiations continue today
The negotiations are on going today, we do expect a development later today, but so far there have been no updates.
Check back for +1 News‘s coverage on more updates as they come.
Day 11 of IRCC Strike: Negotiations Continue Over the Weekend
As the PSAC strike reaches day 11, negotiations between the union and the government continue throughout the weekend.
The government presented a new offer to the PSAC union on Day 10 of the strike, which re-started the negotiations. Though, neither sides commented on the specifics of this ‘New counter offer’.
Today, CBC News reported a new development on this new offer presented by the Government.
-Article continues below- This might be relevant to you: - We recently created a report on the 10 Most dangerous cities of Canada according to this year's crime and safety index, check if your city is on the list.
|PSAC Demands||Government’s Counter Offers|
|Enhanced wage package||Enhanced wage package based on the recommendation of the third-party Public Interest Commission|
|Telework solutions||Solutions presented, but specific details not disclosed|
|Seniority issues||Solutions presented, but specific details not disclosed|
|Contracting concerns||Solutions presented, but specific details not disclosed|
The enhanced offer is ‘Final‘
The offer also addresses other PSAC concerns such as telework, seniority, and contracting. Meanwhile, the union has intensified its efforts by relocating picket lines to major airports and Canada-U.S. border crossings to increase pressure on the federal government.
No back-to-work legislation is being considered at this time.
Now applicants who are unable to obtain their biometrics within the set 30 day limit, have 60 days to do so.
Majority of Canadians are supporting the PSAC workers with their demands:
The Angus Reid Institute, a non-profit, non-partisan public opinion research foundation, found that 65 per cent of those surveyed supported the union’s ask for wage premiums for night shifts and overtime hours.
Fifty-five per cent support federal employees’ right to work from home, the survey showed.
Skip to the daily Updates available on the IRCC’s Strike
Day 10 of IRCC Strike: Finally some movement today, Government sends PSAC another offer, negotiations begin again:
Today is day 10 of the PSAC Strike.
Union members are intensifying their efforts to pressure the federal government into action.
This afternoon, the government presented a counter-offer to the union. Although the specifics of the proposal have not been disclosed, Mona Fortier described it as “comprehensive.”
PSAC has chosen to withhold further comments for the time being, and also signaled that the negotiations will continue throughout the weekend.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed his personal involvement in the talks with PSAC, stating, “I have deep faith in collective bargaining as a process and we know that our negotiators are putting forward serious offers and working constructively with laborers on this.”
In an effort to increase pressure on the Canadian government, striking workers have relocated their picket lines to major airports and Canada-U.S. border crossings.
This move is seen as a strategic tactic by the union to garner more attention from federal officials.
When asked about the possibility of implementing back-to-work legislation, François-Philippe Champagne of the Liberals responded, “No, we are not there at all.”
Mona Fortier, President of the Treasury Board tweeted to inform Canadians that the Negotiations have continued.
Day 9 of IRCC Strike: Political Attacks continue, nothing concrete as the Government continues to stay firm
The opposition parties continue to debate the delays in finding a resolution in the house of commons.
Leader of the Official Opposition Pierre Poilievre blamed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for causing this strike even after spending an additional $20 Billion on Federal Bureaucracy.
PM Justin Trudeau was also attacked by Poilievre for taking a trip to New York during the largest strike in the Canadian History.
The Government stays firm on their counter offer. Mona Forteir, President of the Treasury Board labelled union’s demands to be ‘Unreasonable”.
The Government persists to get a deal which values the hard work that their employees do, and is also fair for the taxpayers.
Following is the status of the demands and the Government’s counter offer.
|PSAC Demands||Government’s Offer|
|Wage increase of 13.5% (flexible, but better than 9%)||Maintains 9% wage increase|
|Telework agreement in all departments, except CRA||Suggests formal joint review of telework directives with unions|
|No contracting out of public service jobs||Willing to reduce contracting out, but not to zero due to potential impact on service delivery|
Day 8 of IRCC Strike: The Government Stands Firm
April 26, 2023: The Canadian government remains resolute, with Mona Fortier reiterating that she can’t “write a blank cheque” and that a 9% offer seems fair. PM Trudeau acknowledged that Canadians may face more difficulties accessing services in the coming days, but he insists the government is negotiating the best deal for everyone, including taxpayers.
Despite criticism for attending a reception in New York during the strike, Trudeau remains steadfast. PSAC’s president warns that if the prime minister can disregard striking workers, he could turn his back on all workers in the country.
IRCC Strike Day 7: NDP Leader calls on Prime Minister to Personally Interfere:
On April 25, 2023: Leader of NDP Jagmeet Singh is calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to get directly involved in the negotiation. Jagmeet Singh emphasized the importance of public servants and their work in everyday Canadians’ lives.
The Prime Minister often talks about the importance of the Public workers, where is he then? If he thinks workers are important, if he takes this matter seriously, He should be showing up & getting personally involved in finding a solution”Jagmeet Singh, Leader NDP
With NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to get directly involved in the negotiations, it is clear that the strike has become a significant political issue.
Negotiations: Key Demands on the Table (As of April 25)
The three central demands being negotiated include:
- Wage Increase: PSAC seeks a 13.5% increase, while the government sticks to a 9% offer.
- Telework: Continuation of work-from-home has been agreed upon by all departments except CRA, which wants a formal review of telework directives.
- Contracting Out: PSAC wants a guarantee of no contracting out of public service jobs, while the government is willing to reduce contracting but not eliminate it completely.
Tax Deadline Remains Unchanged
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) confirms that the tax deadline of May 1 will not be extended.
IRCC Strike: Affected Services
During the IRCC strike, applicants can expect delays in:
- Application processing
- In-person appointments, including citizenship ceremonies
- Contacting IRCC via email, phone, or social media
- Consular citizenship and passport services
- In-Canada passport services
CRA Service Disruption Alert
The federal government is encouraging Canadians to submit their taxes as soon as possible to avoid any hiccups during the current strike.
You can easily use online services like Express NOA and Auto-fill my return in approved tax preparation software—just sign up for CRA My Account access and you’re all set!
Be aware that certain CRA services might be delayed or become unavailable during the strike. This could lead to longer wait times at contact centers and potential delays in processing some income tax and benefit returns, particularly paper submissions.
Online services will still be up and running during the strike! These include:
- Registering for direct deposit
- Updating your personal information (address, phone number, marital status)
- Making a payment
- Tracking the status of your return
- Applying for child benefits
- Receiving mail and email notifications
- Viewing uncashed checks
So, make sure to use these online services for a smoother tax filing experience.
The Union’s Objectives
Federal government employees are striving for better pay, increased remote work flexibility, improved job security, and a healthier work-life balance. They have been without a collective bargaining agreement since October 31, 2021.
Both CRA and IRCC employees are officially on strike as of 12:01 am EST on April 19, 2023. Temporary employees, however, will continue to work during the strike.
You might be interested in these related stories:
- Check out if your city is on the list of the Most Dangerous Cities in Canada
- Guide for future aspirants looking to Immigrate to Canada
- Know more about PSAC Strike: Union and Government Struggle to Reach Agreement