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Deadline for federal workers to go back to the office is here, as union holds rally

Treasury Board President Mona Fortier rises during Question Period, Tuesday, January 31, 2023 in Ottawa. The federal government's return-to-office deadline has arrived, but members of a union representing 165,000 public servants are rallying in support of women who are disproportionately impacted by the mandate.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA — The federal government's return-to-office deadline has arrived — and on cue, a major public-sector union is holding a rally in Ottawa to call attention to workers' concerns.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada, which is hosting the demonstration and represents 165,000 federal workers, says women are disproportionately affected by the government's mandate.

The union says that parents have been struggling to find affordable child-care and get adequate accommodations from the government.

Treasury Board President Mona Fortier announced a mandatory hybrid work model in December that required public servants to return to the office two to three times per week, to be implemented by March 31.

The Treasury Board says a few workplaces, such as Canada Revenue Agency call centres and the immigration and employment departments, have been granted exemptions so as to "assess the benefits" of remote work.

The union and government will begin mediated negotiations on Sunday as a potential strike looms, with the union saying the return-to-office plan will be part of discussions at the bargaining table. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 31, 2023. 


This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press

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