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Federal public service unions to announce next steps in fight against office mandates

Federal public service unions will be speaking out today to announce the next steps they’ll be taking as they challenge the federal government’s in-office mandate.

The Treasury Board announced this month that federal employees would be required to work in the office a minimum of three days per week starting in September.

Unions said at the time they had not been consulted on the changes. The Public Service Alliance of Canada’s national executive vice-president Sharon DeSousa said that legal recourse could be coming.

Leaders from the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC), the Canadian Association of Professional Employees (CAPE), and the Association of Canadian Financial Officers (ACFO) will provide an update on upcoming actions and next steps today at 11:30 a.m. outside the House of Commons.

The Treasury Board has said the contract negotiations with federal unions in the spring of 2023 saw the employer sign letters of agreement on telework that “sit outside of collective agreements.” According to the letter of agreement, telework arrangements are subject to regular review “and may be terminated by either party at any time with reasonable notice.”

The unions have said the current mandate requiring at least two days per week in the office is not being consistently enforced and workers have had trouble finding adequate workspaces or are still doing work virtually when they arrive in the office.

“Tens of thousands of workers have already expressed their frustration and outrage with the one-size-fits-all mandate – made without any consultation with unions or workers – that violates federal public service workers’ rights and disregards their well-being,” the unions said in a news release.

This is a developing story. Check back later for updates.

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