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Major public-service union and to begin mediated negotiations with federal government

Federal workers march through downtown during a protest, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022 in Ottawa. The government of Canada and the Public Service Alliance of Canada, a union representing 165,000 federal public servants will begin mediated negotiations on Sunday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA — The federal government and the Public Service Alliance of Canada, a union representing 165,000 federal public servants, are expected to begin mediated negotiations on Sunday as a possible strike looms.

The union announced strike votes for workers in the core public service in January amid a protracted labour dispute, with final votes to be cast by April 11.

If workers opt for a strike, the union would be able to begin one at any time during the 60 days, without needing to give the government three days' notice.

The decision to start mediated negotiations follows a recent recommendation from the federal labour relations board's Public Interest Commission, which called for the two parties to return to the bargaining table.

Negotiations over a new contract first began in June 2021, but talks broke down and the union declared an impasse in May 2022, with both parties filing labour complaints since.

The government says it is committed to reaching an agreement that will be fair to both parties.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 30, 2023.


This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. The previous version said the Public Service Alliance of Canada must give the federal government three days' notice before striking.

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