Federal public service strike enters ninth day, no sign of back-to-work legislation


OTTAWA – The Liberal government is showing no hints it will end the strike of its largest public sector union by legislating 155,000 federal civil servants back to work.

The workers with the Public Service Alliance of Canada walked off the job nine days ago after contract negotiations with the government couldn’t find agreement on issues such as wage increases and remote work.

But former clerk of the Privy Council, Michael Wernick says the federal government can’t discuss hypotheticals such as back-to-work legislation because negotiations are ongoing.

Wernick headed the federal public service for three years and says introducing back-to-work legislation prematurely could spell trouble for the federal government for bad faith bargaining.

The NDP say they will not support back-to-work legislation, while the Conservatives have not weighed in on the matter.

The government is warning the strike is causing backlogs for immigration and passport applications, as well as massive Canada Revenue Agency slowdowns at the height of tax season.