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Another back-to-office labour complaint filed by federal union

Another major federal public service union has filed a labour complaint over the government’s back-to-office plans.

The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) said in a news release Tuesday it has filed a bad faith bargaining complaint because the Canada Revenue Agency stopped negotiating remote work plans last month and told the union workers will be expected to come to the office two days a week.

PIPSC has been negotiating with the agency on behalf of more than 14,000 worker members since October.

“You cannot just remove a core issue from the table — which has been established as a top priority for members — and call it anything other than a bad faith maneuver,” said PIPSC president Jennifer Carr in the news release.

CBC has reached out to the CRA for comment on the complaint.

As of March 31, federal public servants will be required to work at least two to three days a week in person. Some have already started returning to the office.

Many employees have been working from home since the COVID-19 pandemic struck nearly three years ago. PIPSC said they’ve been doing that “safely and productively.”

The Treasury Board has said in-person work is better for collaboration, innovation and team spirit, and that there needs to be consistency across the federal government.

A person is seen dragging a chair into a federal government building in downtown Ottawa in January 2023. (Wesley Rodney)

The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) filed a complaint in December over “unilaterally imposing changes to our members’ working conditions” while the union is engaged in labour negotiations on behalf of 165,000 federal public servants.

On Jan. 13, the Treasury Board filed its own bad faith bargaining complaint arguing PSAC had “flooded the bargaining tables with costly proposals.”

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