Immigration Canada's Employee strike ends in May 2023


IRCC Strike Ends With Tentative Agreement

The Public Service Alliance of Canada(PSAC) and the Federal Government of Canada have reached a tentative agreement following a strike that impacted over 155,000 public servants, including those at Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship Canada(IRCC).
The strike began on April 19. PSAC has instructed its members to return to work as of 9 AM Eastern Time on 1 May or their next available shift.
PSAC the union representing the federal employees who went on strike, says the tentative agreement includes higher wages which will close the gap with inflation, new and improved language relating to working from home, among other favourable provisions for its members.
On its website, IRCC notes that “there may still be some service impacts over the nest few days and weeks as services return to full capacity..we will continue to update this page during the labour disruption to tell you how services are impacted.”
Throughout the strike IRCC cautioned that delays were expected in several areas, such as:
lProcessing Applications
lIn person appointments or events including citizenship ceremonies
lContacting IRCC via email, phone or social media
lConsular citizenship and passport services
lPassport services in Canada
lAccess to Information Act requests
lGrants and contribution services
During the strike, it was still possible to apply online to IRCC to extend a stay in Canada.
In addition, despite the strike, IRCC held its regularly scheduled Express Entry draw last Wednesday in which it invited and additional 3,500 candidates to apply for permanent residence.
Employment and Social Development Canada(ESDC) also reported disruptions in Temporary Foreign Worker Program(TFWP) as well as the collection of biometric.
ESDC is also responsible for reviewing Labour Market Impact Assessments(LMIAs), which are mandatory requirement for employers who wish to hire temporary foreign workers. Many Canadian employers depend on the TFWP for seasonal workers as well as to fill urgent job vacancies in high-demand sectors.
Why was there a strike?
PSAC held nationwide strike votes between February 22 and April 11. Subsequent negotiations were not successful in reaching a deal and PSAC members voted to strike as of 12:01 am April 19.
The union said it was seeking fair wages, a better work-life balance, more work place inclusivity and reduced layoffs through the creation of more jobs, rather than contracting positions to private organizations.
Among the “deal breaker”, union members wanted to continue to work remotely as they had been throughout the covid-19 pandemic. PSAC said public service workers were as effective working remotely as when they were in the office and the 90% of workers want to continue working remotely.
Remote workers were required to walk the picket line while on the strike.
The government says the demands, as they were drafted during negotiations, would severely impact the ability to effectively manage employees within the public service.
The union was also seeking higher wages for members in face of the current inflated cost of living in Canada.


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