PIPSC demands a halt to the government's poorly-planned and punitive return to workplace plans

The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) demands a halt to the Treasury Board’s plans to mandate employees back to the office.

On Thursday, the Treasury Board announced plans to roll out a one-size-fits-all approach to return federal public servants to their offices for 2-3 days per week starting in January. This news comes despite previous commitments to continue consulting with unions and implement tailored plans for each department, and despite the triple threat of influenza, COVID-19 and respiratory syncytial virus filling up emergency rooms across the country.

“For over 2 years we’ve been saying that any return to office plan must have purpose, and prioritize employee productivity as well their health and safety. This plan has none of that: it’s poorly thought out, punitive and makes no sense whatsoever – and we’re not going to compromise on health and safety ” said PIPSC President Jennifer Carr.

“Today’s announcement is the total opposite of what the Treasury Board has been promising: a hybrid-by-design approach that takes into account the unique circumstances of federal public servants. They have completely ignored the design part and have instead chosen to bulldoze through a bad plan that sets themselves up for an unnecessary fight.”

Thousands of PIPSC members have already started bargaining their next collective agreements with the Treasury Board, where telework is on the table. “This doesn’t set the stage for good faith negotiations with the employer. With the holidays around the corner, the timing of this announcement also adds insult to injury."

PIPSC has been following the issue closely and continuing to solicit feedback from members on any return to workplace plan.

“Our members have proven throughout the past two-and-a-half years that they can and will continue to be productive and engaged no matter where they work from,” said Carr. “Public service professionals have gone above and beyond to deliver quality services to Canadians. Is this how the government thanks them for their commitment and hard work?”

PIPSC is continuing to advocate for safe, flexible return to workplace policies for all members. Members that are required to return to the workplace and have concerns should visit our website for more information on the options available to them.