As wages continue to slip far below soaring inflation in Canada, PSAC will head to mediation with the government to make meaningful gains for more than 120,000 federal public service workers ahead of Public Interest Commission hearings.

Mediation dates have been set for common issues bargaining from September 12-14 and 20-23 – which negotiates gains for workers at all Treasury Board tables – with dates expected for the PA, SV, TC and EB groups soon.

The goal of mediation is to find common ground before the two sides make their case at Public Interest Commission hearings, to be scheduled this fall by the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Board (FPSLRB).

But the government has staunchly refused to address the issues that impact workers most this round of bargaining. They expect federal public service workers to take a pay cut as the cost of living skyrockets, they refuse to consider mandatory training on anti-racism and discrimination for all workers and managers, and they still won’t consider improving work-life balance by enshrining remote work in your collective agreement.

In response, PSAC declared impasse in Treasury Board bargaining for more than 120,000 members in May.

What is a PIC?

Once impasse is reached at the bargaining table, a PIC is established to help reach an agreement between the two parties. A panel of three people – a chairperson appointed by the FPSLRB, and nominees from the union and employer side.

Positions are presented by both parties on the outstanding issues at a hearing and the PIC releases a report with non-binding recommendations for reaching a settlement. The union will then meet to discuss the recommendations, at which point the parties typically return to the table to resume negotiations.

Next steps

If PSAC can’t reach an agreement with the government following mediation and the PIC process, PSAC members could take job action.

Taking strike action is always a last resort, but PSAC members are prepared to fight for a fair contract that ensures workers don’t fall behind and builds better, more inclusive workplaces.