About 155,000 federal government employees are on the picket lines today as the deadline for strike action passed Tuesday night. Negotiations are expected to continue the beginning of job action this morning at 12:01 a.m. ET.
A late Tuesday news release from the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat says the government and the Public Service Alliance of Canada are still at odds when it comes to key contract issues for both sides. The bargaining groups involve some 155,000 federal public servants, including 35,000 Canada Revenue Agency workers.
Roughly 35,000 of the strikers are Canada Revenue Employees. With tax filing deadline a little over a week away CRA says it has no plans to extend the deadliner at least not yet. CRA issued a statement Wednesday that said there is still a significant gap in the issue of wages, writing, “During our mediated negotiations on April 17 and 18, the CRA presented a fair, competitive offer to the PSAC-UTE. This includes a 9% wage increase over three years that mirrors the recommendations of the third-party Public Interest Commission with the PSAC and Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada. The PSAC-UTE countered with a proposal of 22.5% over the course of three years, which includes a market adjustment of 2%.”
Picket lines went up this morning at approximately 250 plus locations, making the strike action one of the largest in Canadian history. National President Chris Aylward said during a brief news conference in Ottawa on Tuesday night that despite the move, union officials are still hopeful and the goal is to get a deal.
While there are no plans to extend tax filing deadlines, the CRA will continue to accept all tax returns. Those that are filed digitally, which represent the vast majority of T1 and T2 returns, will largely be processed automatically by CRA systems without delay.
In Hamilton hundreds of striking federal employees spilled out into the forecourt of the Federal Building at Bay and York Boulevard on the first day of the strike. Many had been working remotely after the pandemic and had to come in from home to participate in the picketing.
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