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'Some progress' on strike issues PSAC says ahead of planned Ottawa rally Monday

The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) is planning on bringing in busloads of workers from Montreal for a large rally in Ottawa on Monday if the union and the federal government fail to reach an agreement this weekend.

More than 155,000 federal workers represented by PSAC have been on strike since April 19 and have been gradually escalating strike action in the national capital region and around the country.

In an email to members obtained by CTV News, Alex Silas, PSAC's regional executive vice president for the national capital region, says 20 buses of members from Montreal will be joining the picket in Ottawa on Monday to mark International Workers' Day, otherwise known as May Day.

A picket line at Place du Portage in Gatineau, near the office of Liberal MP Greg Fergus, will march across the Ottawa River to Parliament at 9:30 a.m., the email states, to join picketers outside the Prime Minister's Office on Wellington Street and the office of the Treasury Board on Elgin Street. 

Picket lines will also be set up in the following locations:

  • Treasury Board President Mona Fortier's constituency office, 233. Montreal Rd.
  • Canada Post, 2701 Riverside Dr.
  • Tunney's Pasture, 100 Tunney's Pasture
  • Liberal MP Marie-France Lalonde's office, 255 Centrum Blvd.
  • Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, 1341 Baseline Rd.
  • Liberal MP Steve MacKinnon's office, 160 boul. de l'Hôpital, Gatineau

Ottawa police say drivers can expect traffic disruptions downtown on Monday starting around 9 a.m.

"This includes Wellington, Elgin and Bank Streets, and Laurier Ave. Commuters may wish to consider alternate routes where possible," police said.

Wellington Street in front of Parliament reopened to vehicle traffic on Friday.


In a thread on Twitter Sunday, PSAC said negotiating teams bargained throughout the day Saturday and resumed negotiations Sunday morning, adding that talks are ongoing with the Canada Revenue Agency.

"Over the weekend, we have made some progress on our wage demands and job security," the union said. "We know that PSAC members want to get back to work and deliver the services Canadians depend on, but we also know that workers can’t keep falling behind. That’s why we’ll stay at the table until we get the fair contract our members deserve."

The federal government tabled what it has called its "final offer" on Friday. It includes unspecified "solutions" on key sticking points at the bargaining table, including remote work, the hiring of contractors and seniority, and an "enhanced wage offer."

The government did not provide any details on what it had offered, but the "enhanced wage offer" suggests it has moved away from its long-held position of a nine per cent wage increase over three years. PSAC national president Chris Aylward said previously that nine per cent was a non-starter, but admitted to moving away from the union's demand of a 13.5 per cent increase over three years.

The email from Silas does not elaborate on the government's offer, only saying the union hopes to "have an update to communicate soon."

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