Dissenting Public Servants Remain on Duty Amid Strike; Union Continues Negotiations

PSAC national president Chris Aylward is seen in Ottawa on the first day of the strike. In a statement, the union said it's
PSAC national president Chris Aylward is seen in Ottawa on the first day of the strike. In a statement, the union said it's "regrettable" that some members feel they didn't get a fair chance to have their voices heard. (Blair Gable/Reuters)

– Internal Disagreements Emerge Among Public Service Alliance of Canada Workers

– Ongoing Strike Reaches 12th Day, With Some Workers Opting to Continue Work Despite Union’s Stance

As the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) strike enters its 12th day, some federal public servants opt to remain on the job, disagreeing with the union’s stance and asserting their wages are fair. According to government figures, approximately 96% of non-essential Treasury Board workers within the striking PSAC group participated in the initial week of the labour stoppage.

Negotiations between the federal government and striking PSAC members persist, with the government unveiling new details about their “final comprehensive offer” submitted on Friday. The proposal contains an “enhanced” wage plan, says the Treasury Board. Although neither party was available for interviews on Sunday, the union noted on social media that they remain at the bargaining table, with some progress on wage demands and job security.

Disagreements and Complications Among Workers

About 3,000 non-essential Treasury Board members have opted not to strike, either continuing to work or on specific types of leave. Some have contacted media outlets, expressing their disagreement with PSAC’s position and feeling unrepresented by its national president, Chris Aylward. Several workers have cited their inability to access their member numbers to provide feedback or cast a strike vote for their dissent.

While crossing picket lines is legal but discouraged by unions, some public servants have chosen to do so, disagreeing with the union’s wage demands. The workers’ names have been withheld to protect them from potential backlash.

Union Responds to Criticism

In response to the dissenting workers, PSAC states they have provided “ample opportunity” for voting during 100 virtual and in-person sessions held over seven weeks nationwide. However, only 35% of 120,000 striking federal workers cast ballots, and more than 80% of those voted in favour of the strike. The Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board acknowledges voting irregularities but does not believe they impacted the outcome of the strike vote.

Future Protests and Rally

A significant rally is scheduled for Monday in downtown Ottawa, with police cautioning potential traffic disruptions. Meanwhile, negotiations between the union and government continue, as some workers remain on the job despite the ongoing strike.