PSAC’s bargaining demands and the Public Interest Commission’s path to a settlement
In June 2021, the Government of Canada and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) began negotiations on renewed collective agreements for the EB, PA, SV, and TC bargaining units, which comprise approximately 120,000 federal public servants.
PSAC’s initial wage demand was a 13.5% increase over three years - 4.5% per year - for all four groups, in addition to a significant number of costly, non-wage-related demands.
Taken together, the percentage increases PSAC initially demanded for wage and non-wage benefits for its four bargaining groups ranged between 7% - 14% per year, or 25% - 47% compounded over 3 years.
Following PSAC declaring impasse for the four bargaining units, a Public Interest Commission (PIC) was established. A PIC is mandated by the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board to assist the parties in coming to an agreement.
As part of the PIC process, the parties attended hearings where they provided information and arguments about the matters in dispute. Following these hearings, the PIC made recommendations intended to help the parties reach a settlement.
In its PA report on issues common to all four bargaining units, the PIC recommended a three-year collective agreement with specific economic increases in each of the three years.
PATH TO A SETTLEMENT
Employer Opening Offer May 2022
1.50% for 2021
3.00% for 2022
2.00% for 2023
1.75% for 2024
8.20% cumulative increase (8.5% compounded)
PSAC Opening Demand June 2021
4.50% for 2021
4.50% for 2022
4.50% for 2023
13.5% cumulative increase (14.12% compounded)
Employer’s current offer (mirrors Public Interest Commission Recommendation)
1.5% for 2021
3.5% + 1.0% wage adjustment for 2022
3.00% for 2023
9.% cumulative increase (9.25 % compounded)
It is important to note that our offer of a 1.5% economic increase for 2021, the same amount recommended in the PIC report for that year, is consistent with agreements already signed with 21 bargaining units representing more than 40% of federal public servants. Inflation for 2021 was 3.4%.
Our offers to all bargaining agents take into consideration current economic conditions, such as other collective agreements for the public service and inflation, as well as our ability to attract and retain highly qualified employees, employment conditions in the federal government relative to other Canadian workplaces, and responsible fiscal management.
According to the Bank of Canada’s latest Monetary Policy report, Canada’s CPI inflation is continuing its projected fall, to around 3% in the middle of this year. Recent data is reinforcing Governing Council’s confidence that inflation will continue to decline in the next few months.
Through good faith negotiations and hard work, the Government of Canada reached agreements with two bargaining agents that includes wage increases of more than 10% over four years. The same wage increase was recently approved for over 90, 000 Canadian Forces members and we firmly believe that this is a fair and reasonable offer for employees and taxpayers.
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