Sit-in at MP's office highlights union's contract concerns

Union leaders staged a peaceful sit-in today at Lawrence MacAulay's office in Montague, P.E.I. They want the Liberal government in Ottawa to settle ongoing contract talks with the Public Service Alliance of Canada. Talks are slated to resume April 30.

'We've seen insulting wage proposals' says federal workers union

Union members occupy the constituency office of Cardigan MP Lawrence MacAulay in Montague. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

Union leaders staged a peaceful sit-in at MP Lawrence MacAulay's office in Montague, P.E.I., Friday to demand the Liberal government settle ongoing contract talks.

"We haven't been seeing fair offers. We've seen insulting wage proposals and we've seen deliberate stall tactics," said Dan Aiken, president of the P.E.I.-area council for the Public Service Alliance of Canada.

PSAC represents about 3,000 federal employees on P.E.I., including workers at Veterans Affairs and Canada Revenue Agency.

MacAulay, who was out of province Friday, is minister of veterans affairs.

"They [federal contract negotiators] started out by offering .75 per cent wage offers for years where we know inflation was over two percent," said Aiken. "Some employees have been without a contract for several years. Some people haven't seen a cost of living increase since 2015."

Dan Aiken is president of the P.E.I.-area council for the Public Service Alliance of Canada. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

The union is also concerned by ongoing problems with the government's flawed Phoenix payroll system.

"There are still members who are not being paid correctly," said Aiken. "The Phoenix pay system has been a boondoggle that needs to be taken care of immediately."

PSAC also organized sit-ins Friday at MPs' offices in Dartmouth and St. John's.

The union represents 90,000 federal public-sector workers.

The next round of contract talks is slated for April 30.

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