FAQs on the PSAC strike

When could the PSAC strike begin?

As of April 12, 2023, PSAC confirmed that its members voted to strike. PSAC then has 60 days to call the strike. Before any strike begins, employees should receive direction from their employer about how to handle the strike.

Are PIPSC members currently in a legal position to strike as well?

No - only PSAC-represented members are in a legal position to strike. PIPSC members are expected to report to work as scheduled.

Am I allowed to picket with PSAC members?

PIPSC members are encouraged to show their support and solidarity for PSAC members during their days off, unpaid lunch period, or before/after work hours by joining in picket lines.

There is a picket line at my workplace, what do I do?

Should you encounter a picket line, members are strongly encouraged to consider the following:

  1. Respect the picket line
  2. If possible, have some form of PIPSC identification with you to show to the picket captain. You do NOT need your membership card. ID can be anything from showing a PIPSC email you've received, or a button
  3. Should the picket line not let you cross or you fear for your safety, please contact your manager/team lead to request an escort into the building or directions on how to get into the building. When requested, an escort must be provided.
  4. While waiting to enter the building due to a picket line, members are still considered to be “at work” and should not be expected to make up additional time.
How do I get my membership card?

A digital membership card from PIPSC is available for your use through the Service Plus infinity program. To access your downloadable ServicePlus membership card from PIPSC, please visit www.serviceplusgroup.ca If you already have your ServicePlus account, simply login, click on your name at the top of the page, then  Manage my account to download your card. If you do not already have your free ServicePlus account, simply visit https://serviceplusgroup.ca/sign-up to create one, then download your card as above.For any questions related to this, please contact  info@serviceplusgroup.ca for assistance.

I feel unsafe crossing the picket line and my manager still requires me to report to work. What should I do?

If you feel unsafe crossing a picket line, please contact your manager/team lead to notify them of the situation. You are encouraged to request for an escort to cross the picket line. When requested, an escort must be provided. Do not attempt to cross a picket line you believe would put your personal safety at risk.

I was asked to complete the tasks of an employee on strike, what do I do?

If you are requested at any time to perform any duty of an employee on strike, you should comply to ensure you are not insubordinate (which could result in disciplinary action), unless you believe the assigned work would be a threat to your safety or security. While members should comply with the direction, they are encouraged to raise their concerns with their manager/team lead as it relates to their job description. 

Members should not be asked or assigned work that they are not trained or qualified to perform. Should this occur, please contact your local PIPSC Steward. 

After arriving at the office management sent me home to work as a result of the picket lines. What are my expectations?

If you were sent home by management to complete your work day due to an inability to cross the picket line, you should not be responsible to work additional hours to make up your travel time to and from the office. If you are directed to work additional hours, please contact your local PIPSC Steward.

I was told to work from home on an in office day due to the strike, what are my expectations?

If you are told not to report to work in the office on a day that you were previously scheduled as a result of the picket lines, members should continue to work from home as they normally would. If you are unable to work from home, we encourage you to discuss this with your management to find alternative options. Members should not be expected to make up the in office day if instructed by management to stay home. If you are directed to work additional hours, please contact your local PIPSC Steward.

What should I do if I have issues with reporting to the office?

Any issues that members encounter should be raised to their manager/team lead. Members are also encouraged to contact their local Steward should they have any questions or concerns regarding the picket lines.

What if I am a substantive PIPSC-represented employee but am acting in a PSAC-represented role?

If you are acting in a PSAC role, you should be following the terms and conditions of the PSAC position and therefore be subject to the strike. If you have specific questions about the strike or the picket lines as an acting PSAC member, please contact your PSAC representative.

What if I am a substantive PSAC-represented employee but am acting in a PIPSC-represented position?

If you are acting in a position outside of the PSAC bargaining unit, you are not eligible to participate in the strike vote or take strike action. You must continue to work as you normally would along with other PIPSC members.

My manager told me that I have to stay on-site at lunch and if I leave the work premises, I have to make up any time as a result of the pickets or be subject to leave without pay. Is this true?

Members should not be required to work additional hours or be subject to leave without pay as a result of the pickets, nor can the employer force employees to remain on site during a meal break. If this occurs, members are encouraged to request the direction in writing and immediately contact their local PIPSC Steward. 

We also encourage our members to clearly communicate with their managers their time of arrival at the picket line, whether in the morning or at the end of their meal period.  For example, if you leave the building at 12pm and are back at the picket line trying to enter the building at 12:58pm, you should immediately inform your supervisor that you are finished with your meal period and are waiting to be escorted through the picket line. 

I do not have access to toilet facilities while waiting to cross the picket line to enter my work site, what can I do?

We encourage you to clearly communicate with your supervisor as soon as you arrive at the picket line at the beginning of your day to request an escort. If you are waiting in line for an extended period of time and need to leave your place in line to use a restroom, advise your supervisor and ask for directions. You must be allowed to leave the line and return at the back of the line within reasonable time. Upon your return to the back of the line, inform your supervisor of your return.
Should your employer tell you not to leave the line, immediately contact a PIPSC steward.

Does the NJC Travel Directive apply when my employer asks me to work from a location that is not my designated workplace? Is this considered a change to my designated workplace and therefore my working conditions?

If the employer requires you to work from a location other than your permanent workplace on a temporary basis for a period of less than 30 consecutive days, you would be considered on travel status. Being on travel status subjects employees to the relevant provisions outlined in the NJC Travel Directive. 

For cases involving a temporary location change, the NJC Travel Directive states that transportation shall be provided to the temporary workplace, or the kilometric rate paid for the distance between the home and the temporary workplace, or between the permanent workplace and the temporary workplace, whichever is less. 

If this occurs, employees are encouraged to contact their local PIPSC Steward in the event this occurs for further direction on the specifics of your case.