Ottawa disputes PSAC claim of ‘incompetence,’ ‘disrespect’ stalling strike talks – National

The president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) said on Saturday he had yet to hear a response from the Treasury Department on a deal proposal filed by the union’s team Thursday night.

That’s because federal media representatives from the agency have accused the union of being “inflexible” and have not responded to attempts to discuss the proposal.

Chris Isleward said at a press conference, referring to Treasury Chairman Mona Fortier, “This is a complete demonstration of the incompetence of this minister in this position to drag these negotiations off for so long. I forgave him,” he said.

“I have never seen a negotiation round like this.”

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Only 35% of PSAC members voted in strike ballot, labor commission says

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Aylward said the package delivered on Thursday was “comprehensive” and the union thought it “might lead to a deal.”

He said he would get an answer on one of the issues on Friday morning, but said he hadn’t heard anything yet. He accused the federal government of “prolonging this negotiation” and said “disrespect” was shown at the negotiating table.

Aylward also called out Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“The prime minister has done nothing to move these negotiations forward,” he said, calling for more involvement to move forward.

Within hours, the federal government issued a statement disputing Aylward’s comments.

In a statement, the finance committee accused the union of being “inflexible” and said government negotiators were trying to get in touch.

“On Friday, we reached out to PSAC and attempted to meet to discuss their proposal. They were not reachable at the Common Issues table,” the statement said.

“This morning we were contacted again through an intermediary and told them we would be presenting a new offer at 1pm today. PSAC took 3 hours to respond to the request and initially accepted the meeting at 12:31pm. , and then at 12:40 p.m., informed me that I was no longer available at that time.”

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The statement continued:

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Economic impact of the PSAC strike

The PSAC said in a statement Saturday that talks with the federal government are continuing over the weekend as the public service strike ends its first week.

“There has been some progress in negotiations this week as PSAC members have joined picket lines across the country and put pressure on governments for fair contracts,” the union said in a statement.

“However, several key issues remain unresolved and negotiations will continue over the weekend on behalf of more than 155,000 workers at the Treasury Department and the Canada Revenue Agency in the hope of reaching an agreement. increase.”

The strike began this week with federal workers forming a picket line to push the government to meet union goals, including a 13.5% wage increase over three years.

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Only 35% of its more than 100,000 union members voted to strike on Thursday, despite unions saying they had overwhelming support for the strike action. made it clear.

In a decision released Thursday, the board found that the PSAC had shortened the voting period by eight days and failed to properly notify members that it had moved the deadline from April 19 to April 11. Did. I agreed with the strike order.

The decision also showed that the union did not have correct e-mail addresses for its 15,000 members. Those people instead received letters in the mail sent before the union accelerated the April deadline.

— Using files from The Canadian Press.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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