Government of Canada files complaint against PSAC for breaching duty to bargain in good faith

The Peace Tower on Parliament Hill in Ottawa with tulips in bloom in the foreground. Photo: HR Law Canada/Canva
By Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Today, the Government of Canada filed a complaint with the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board (FPSLREB) against the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) for breaching its duty to bargain in good faith.

The Government of Canada has been clear in its commitment to achieving a positive outcome at the bargaining table for the employees within the Program and Administrative Services (PA), Technical Services (TC), Education and Library Science (EB), and Operational Services (SV) groups. The PSAC, on the other hand, has demonstrated unwillingness to reach agreements during this round of negotiations.

From the start of negotiations in June 2021, the PSAC has flooded the bargaining tables with costly proposals—over 500 across its five bargaining units. At the same time, they have refused to prioritize their requests, refused to move on their initial proposals, and did not respond to the employer’s comprehensive offers. 

The Government’s priority is to continue negotiating at the bargaining table towards a positive outcome. When that wasn’t an option, the Government supported the establishment of Public Interest Commissions (PIC) and the appointment of a mediator as a constructive step to advance negotiations. Throughout the PIC hearings, the PSAC again failed to make reasonable efforts to reach agreements. And before any of the Commission’s reports have been rendered, PSAC announced that they will hold strike votes regardless of the PIC recommendations. It is clear that the PSAC is seeking to precipitate a strike without making every reasonable effort to enter into a collective agreement. 

The PSAC’s actions do not respect their obligation to bargain in good faith. The Government of Canada is therefore filing a complaint with the intent of asking the FPSLREB to direct the PSAC to return to the bargaining table and engage in meaningful, good faith negotiations.  We remain confident that if both parties come together with a genuine intent to negotiate, renewed collective agreements can be reached for employees.

The Government of Canada remains committed and available to meet with the PSAC to reach new collective agreements that are both fair to employees and reasonable for Canadians, as we did in October with Association of Canadian Financial Officers (ACFO) for the Comptrollership (CT) group.

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