April 29, 2023, marks the eleventh day since over 150,000 government employees, members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), entered a legal strike position.
The strike continues to have a significant impact on immigration services, with Immigration Minister Sean Fraser admitting that the strike’s consequences depend on its length, but unable to provide precise timelines or delays for applicants.
While certain services will remain operational, applicants should expect delays in application processing, citizenship ceremonies, and in-person appointments.
+1 News is providing daily coverage on the strike as it unfolds, to keep our readers up to date.
Strike Update April 29, Day 11 of the Federal workers’ strike:
As the PSAC strike moves into its second week, negotiations between the union and the government continue throughout the weekend.
On Day 10 of the IRCC’s strike, the government presented a new offer to the PSAC union, restarting the negotiations.
Neither side has commented on the specifics of this “New counter offer.”
CBC News reported a new development on this offer, with Mona Fortier, President of the Treasury Board, stating that the “enhanced” wage offer addresses all four concerns of the union members. However, exact details are still scarce.
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The final enhanced offer includes solutions to telework, seniority, and contracting concerns, but specific details have not been disclosed.
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.
A survey conducted by the Angus Reid Institute, a non-profit, non-partisan public opinion research foundation, found that 65% of respondents supported the union’s demand for wage premiums for night shifts and overtime hours.
In addition, 55% of Canadians support federal employees’ right to work from home, the survey found.
Day 10 of IRCC Strike: Finally some movement today, Government sends PSAC another offer, negotiations begin again:
Union members are intensifying their efforts to pressure the federal government into action.
This afternoon, the government presented a counter-offer to the union. The Government did not share the details of this offer with the Public, Mona Fortier, President of the Treasury Board described this offer 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.”
Significant moves were made in order to end the strike today.
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 re-started.
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.