The federal government says it’s committed to a fair wage deal with employees at Greater Victoria’s naval base, but said it is disappointed their union walked away from the bargaining table.
CFB Esquimalt members represented by the Public Sector Alliance of Canada were among the federal workers rallying near the base on Wednesday (Aug. 10) for fair wage increases. The Treasury Board of Canada’s most recent offer of an annual 1.75-per-cent wage increase is out of touch given current cost of living challenges, the union said at the rally.
The Treasury Board said it hopes to work collaboratively with PSAC at the bargaining table, as it believes a deal that’s fair for employees and reasonable for Canadians can be reached. The feds added they’re disappointed that the union has stopped negotiating in recent months.
“We are concerned about public comments from the Public Service Alliance of Canada on specific proposals being discussed at the bargaining table and would simply state that this is not an accurate portrayal of the events in question,” Martin Potvin, a spokesperson for the Treasury Board, said in an email.
PSAC’s national president Chris Aylward told Black Press Media the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board agreed the two sides were at an impasse in June. He said the next step is for a three-person panel to hear what both sides need to get a deal done before it produces a report on the negotiations, which could take months.
PSAC also claimed the government’s recent offer rejected mandatory training on systemic racism and discrimination. The Treasury Board said that doesn’t fairly represent the work with bargaining agents that promote positive and safe workplaces.
The Government of Canada has courses available for all its public servants on Indigenous topics, harassment prevention and anti-racism – including a mandatory orientation course for new employees, which includes diversity and inclusion components, Potvin added.
“The public service is committed to taking continual and deliberate steps to remove discrimination from our institutions, and to addressing all forms of such oppression, as well as challenging biases, and empowering employees. We remain steadfast in our commitment to building a diverse and inclusive public service and will continue to work with bargaining agents to realize this goal.”
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