Chalk River Professionals Consider Strike Action after Canadian Nuclear Laboratories Denies Fair Pay

CHALK RIVER, February 21, 2022 – Members of the Chalk River Professional Employees Group (CRPEG), represented by the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) are considering their options as conciliation with Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) failed to resolve a year-long impasse over fair pay, job outsourcing, and working conditions.

The bargaining team entered into conciliation with the intent of reaching a negotiated agreement that recognizes the professional work of CRPEG’s nuclear scientists and engineers. The bargaining team is disappointed with the company’s last offer.

CRPEG President Jonathan Fitzpatrick said that “We kept Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) strong during the pandemic, and according to the company, exceeded their expectations. In return, when the increase in the cost of living is well over 5%, what the company is offering is effectively a rollback in wages.”

“Now more than ever, we stand united and we will continue to fight to get fair pay, improve working conditions, and prevent outsourcing of our professional work. The employer must do better,” Mr. Fitzpatrick continued.

CRPEG workers will be in a legal strike position at 12:01 AM on March 14, 2022. While the Group remains focused on reaching a fair deal without a work stoppage, the option of job action remains on the table.

Mr. Fitzpatrick stated, “We have been without a collective agreement since January 2021 and our nuclear scientists and engineers are running out of patience. They have given us the strongest mandate for job action – including a strike –  in the history of the Chalk River Professional Employees Group. Our members deserve fair pay and we are prepared to walk off the job site if that’s what it takes.”

Jennifer Carr, the President of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) stated that the union's 60 000 professionals across Canada’s public sector, fully support the 700 engineers and scientists at Canadian Nuclear Laboratories’ Chalk River campus.

CRPEG members ensure the safe operation of nuclear reactors, and support safe radioactive waste management as well as environmental remediation projects across Canada. CRPEG members contribute to the health of Canadians through research on nuclear medicine.

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For more information: Johanne Fillion, 613-883-4900 (mobile),