Essential Services


During a labour disruption, an essential service of the Government of Canada is a service necessary for the safety or security of the public, or a segment of the public, at any time.

Identifying essential services and positions

As a normal part of the collective bargaining process, the employer and unions work together to negotiate and agree on the positions that are necessary to provide essential services to Canadians during a labour disruption.

Should a labour disruption occur, the employees who occupy essential positions will continue to report to work.

Essential services during a labour disruption

Approximately 120,000 positions in the Core Public Administration (EB, PA, SV and TC bargaining units) represented by the Public Service Alliance of Canada, are in a legal strike position.

Of these 120,000 positions, approximately 46,000 have been deemed essential. These essential positions, which represent a broad range of functions across the public service, will support the continuation of essential services such as:

  • Employment Insurance payments
  • Canada Pension Plan payments
  • Veterans’ income support
  • Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement payments

Out of the 39,000 positions at the Canada Revenue Agency, a separate employer, who are also in a legal strike position, approximately 1,400 have been deemed essential.

Managers have provided written notification to employees who occupy essential services positions, outlining their roles and responsibilities during a strike.

For more information on essential services and potential labour disruptions:

Labour disruptions and essential, excluded, and unrepresented positions -

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