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Federal government claims offer to PSAC on Friday is 'final'

The federal government says it continues to negotiate with the union representing more than 155,000 federal public servants, and has tabled what it calls a "final" offer that addresses the four main issues at the bargaining table.

Government negotiators made the offer to the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) on Friday. In a news release Saturday, the Treasury Board Secretariat called it a "fair, competitive and reasonable final offer."

"[Friday], Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat negotiators tabled a final updated comprehensive offer that addresses all remaining PSAC demands," the government said. "Specific details are being kept to the negotiating table, however, this offer builds on the third-party Public Interest Commission recommendation with an enhanced wage offer."

Wages have been a sticking point for the two sides. The government had been pushing a nine per cent increase over three years, but the union accused them of refusing to budge, even after PSAC moved away from its demand of a 13.5 per cent increase over three years.

Details of the new wage offer from the government were not released Saturday.

The government said it also offered "solutions to address priorities such as telework, seniority, and contracting without impeding our ability to deliver services to Canadians."

Remote work, seniority issues, and hiring contractors were identified earlier this week as the main sticking points between the two sides in an open letter from Treasury Board President Mona Fortier.

PSAC confirmed Friday that it received the offer but expected negotiations to continue into the weekend.

"We hope to continue bargaining this weekend in order to reach a fair deal for our 120,000 federal public service members," the statement said. "Talks are also ongoing for our 35,000 members at Canada Revenue Agency."

The statement said PSAC would not provide any details or schedule any interviews until further notice.

This is the 11th day of a strike by public servants. Pickets are not up over the weekend.

PSAC member Larry Leadman has been a regular on the picket line at Tunney's Pasture. He says after nearly two weeks, some uncertainty is starting to creep in, but there are some positive signs.

"I think people are almost in shock that it's still going on," he told CTV News Ottawa. "Would I bet on it? I'd say I'm 50/50 on it, but I'm more optimistic than I was four days ago."

Political analyst Lori Turnbull says the way the two sides are talking about negotiations suggests a deal could still be far away.

"It sounds to me, even though they got an offer on the table, the language we heard over the past week suggests the two sides are quite far apart," Turnbull said. "I don't know how optimistic we can be at this point."

--With files from CTV News Ottawa's Jackie Perez. Top Stories

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