155,000 Federal Government Employees Going on Strike | Disruption to Canadian Immigration Services
The PSAC, a union representing 155,000 federal government employees, has declared a strike starting today, affecting several government departments, including IRCC. As a result of the strike, certain services provided by the government of Canada will be limited.
Reasons Behind the Strike
According to PSAC, the Public Service Alliance of Canada, the strike aims to secure fair wages, achieve greater workplace inclusivity, reduce layoffs by creating additional job opportunities instead of outsourcing roles to private firms, and promote a better work-life balance.
The Government had been negotiating with the union to prevent the strike. On April 17, it offered a wage increase of 9% over three years, which aligns with the recommendations made by the third-party Public Interest Commission.
Ensuring the ability of PSAC members to continue working remotely is a crucial matter at hand. According to the union, public service workers have demonstrated their ability to work remotely as effectively as they would in the office throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The association reports that 90% of workers desire to work remotely.
The government opposes the current demands, stating that they would significantly impede their ability to provide services to Canadians and manage public service employees effectively.
As per the government’s announcement, the priority is to ensure the timely delivery of benefit payments. The Canada Child Benefit will remain unaffected during the labor dispute. The following payments will continue to be made on their regular schedule:
- Canada Pensions Plan Payments
- Veteran’s Income Support
- Employment Insurance Payments
- Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement Payments
Areas Experiencing Disruptions
According to IRCC, certain areas are likely to experience disruptions and delays. These include:
- In-person appointments and events, such as citizenship ceremonies
- The processing of applications
- Consular citizenship and passport services
- Passport services in Canada
- Contacting IRCC through phone, email, or social media
Currently Available Services from IRCC
According to IRCC, certain services will remain available to applicants during the labor dispute. These include the ability to:
- Use your online accounts
- Mail applications to IRCC
- Apply Online
- Access some emergency services
Certain services provided by non-governmental organizations will also remain available, like:
- Health care through the Interim Federal Health Program
- Visa application centers outside of Canada
- Settlement services from IRCC partner organizations
However, it should be noted that Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) is anticipating disruptions to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and biometrics collection.