Canada makes new contract offer to striking public workers

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A flag flies as Public Service Alliance of Canada members walk the picket line outside government buildings, Friday, April 21, 2023 in Gatineau, Quebec. Almost 100,000 federal workers, including 35,000 from Canada’s tax agency, went on strike Wednesday, April 19, 2023, as Canada’s largest public service union and the federal government continued to negotiate amid warnings of major service disruptions. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Canada's government made a new contract offer to the country's biggest public workers union Friday as thousands of federal employees remained on strike for a 10th day.

The office of Treasury Board President Mona Fortier called it a ``comprehensive offer″ but provided no details.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada, which had said Wednesday that negotiations were stalemated, confirmed receiving the offer, but did not comment on what it contained. ``We hope to continue bargaining this weekend in order to reach a fair deal,″ the union said in a statement.

The government previously had offered to increase pay by 9% over three years. The union initially asked for 13.5% raises over the same time frame.

Other issues described by the government as sticking points earlier this week include the flexibility to work remotely, a reduction in the government’s use of outside contractors and the implementation of seniority rules in the event of layoffs.

More than 100,000 members of the union went on strike April 19 after the union and government failed to reach agreement on replacing contracts that expired in 2021.

The contracts affect 155,000 federal workers in total, but the government deemed about 46,000 of them to be essential workers and they are not taking part in the strike.

As the strike continues, Canadians are facing a wide range of federal service disruptions, including an inability to process immigration and passport applications.