Federal civil servants begin Canada-wide strike Wednesday

OTTAWA — More than 155,000 federal civil servants, including 35,000 from the Canada Revenue Agency, will go on strike Wednesday after talks with the government failed to produce a new agreement.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada, one of Canada’s largest federal public-service unions, made the announcement at a press conference Tuesday evening.

Chris Aylward, the union’s national president, said the bargaining teams will remain at the table and are “still hopeful” to come up with a deal.

“Our goal is still to get a tentative agreement,” Aylward told reporters.

“We will remain at the table until we reach a tentative agreement — if the employer is prepared to stay at the table as well.”

Talks between the Public Service Alliance of Canada and Ottawa began in June 2021 as the union pushes for wage increases and work-from-home options to be written into a new collective agreement.

However, negotiations reached an impasse in May 2022. The union called a strike vote and announced last week that members had voted in favour of a strike mandate.

Canada’s Treasury Board says it offered the union a nine per cent pay raise over three years on Sunday, but the PSAC pushed for annual raises of 13.5 per cent over the next three years.

The union argued the increases are necessary to keep pace with inflation and the cost of living.