Lag in Visa Processing To End As Canadian Government Promises 12% Wage Hike To Workers On Strike


Samarpita Goswami
Updated on May 02, 2023 12:24 PM IST

Owing to the recent inflation, the demand for wage increases led to strikes by around 1.2 lakh workers in Canada. A promise of a 12% increase in wages has coaxed the workers for now.

Lag in Visa Processing To End As Canadian Government Promises 12% Wage Hike To Workers On Strike

The strike conducted by about 1,20,000 workers in the federal public service of Canada ended after Justin Trudeau’s government agreed upon a 12% increase in wages over four years.

A third of the public workers in Canada, that is around 155,000 people started a strike on April 19, 2023, and hit picket lines at several locations demanding raises for the cost of living and flexibility in telework.

The strike massively impacted public services including processing passport and immigration applications. On Monday morning, the Public Service Alliance of Canada declared that the ongoing dispute that started on April 19 had come to an end. During this time, employees who perform various tasks such as product inspection, government department administration, and passport and immigration applications were not able to work.

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Approximately 35,000 employees of the federal tax agency are currently on strike as they are seeking a more significant pay raise. However, they have not yet come to an agreement. This is happening just ahead of the annual deadline for filing personal income tax in Canada, which falls on Monday.

The primary point of contention between the government and its employees was the request for wage hikes following a period of high inflation. Additionally, there was disagreement over the establishment of remote work arrangements, which proved to be a contentious topic.

The PSAC was unable to include work from home as a part of the collective bargaining agreement since the Treasury Board, the federal employer, declined the proposal. However, there is an agreement in place to consider remote work requests on an individual basis through written communication. This agreement allows employees to file a complaint if their request for remote work is not granted.

According to PSAC, the union has reached an agreement that mandates managers to evaluate remote work requests on an individual basis rather than as a group. Additionally, managers are required to provide written justifications for their decisions.

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During the Covid-19 pandemic, many workers got accustomed to teleworking and PSAC said that it had secured significant new protections on the same.

The government felt that granting too many remote work facilities would set an example for other industries that would further hit the depressed foot traffic in the cities. The union members would also get a one-time payment of CAD 2,500.

Source: Live Mint

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