A union representing more than 120,000 federal public servants across Canada has voted in favour of a strike mandate, leaders said in a news conference Wednesday morning.
The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) did not say when a strike could happen nor how many members voted in favour of a strike, but president Chris Aylward said an “overwhelming majority” voted for a strike mandate.
About 35,000 PSAC workers at the Canada Revenue Agency, which are a different group, voted in favour of strike action Friday ahead of mediation talks set to take place later this month.
That means more than 155,000 federal public servants represented by the union have a strike mandate.
The union said in January, as it announced the strike votes for the more than 120,000 workers that announced the mandate Wednesday, that four more bargaining groups had the same issue with the Treasury Board over proposed wage increases that are outstripped by the rate of inflation.
At that time, the Treasury Board said the government was “disappointed” about the strike vote and that there was “lots of room to reach a fair and reasonable agreement for public servants.”
Among the four latest groups is one known as program and administrative services, the largest bargaining unit in the core federal public service. That one counts nearly 100,000 employees who administer programs, do communications work, clerical functions, data processing and more.
The others are operational employees such as firefighters, tradespeople and ship crews, the technical services group, and the education and library science group.