Press Release — Public Sector Unions Stand United in Opposition to Federal In-Office Mandate

Ottawa, May 8, 2024  — Today, leaders from Canada’s public sector unions held a joint press conference to reiterate their strong opposition to the federal government's mandate for a three-day in-office work week. This directive affects over 260,000 federal public service workers and has sparked considerable unrest due to its top-down implementation without union consultation.

"After months of negotiating Letters of Agreement on Telework tailored to the needs of our members, this new mandate nullifies our considerable efforts and erodes the trust we have worked so hard to build," said the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) Vice-President, Sean O’Reilly. “It sets a dangerous precedent and represents a colossal waste of time and resources for unions and Canadians.”

PIPSC is committed to fighting this unilateral decision that ignores members’ negotiated rights. The union has filed a policy grievance to challenge the bypassing of mandatory consultation requirements, and is preparing an Unfair Labour Practice complaint to address the breach of good faith and consultation standards. 

“We're not only defending our rights but also the principles of fair and effective workplace management” said O’Reilly. “As the largest employer in the country, this is something we will continue to actively fight for and something all Canadians should expect from their government.”

Treasury Board's decision has a particularly harsh effect on those groups still in bargaining, as a result of the employer's failure to discuss this with the Institute, they are being denied the benefit of basic labour relations principles and practices. 

"I can tell you with certainty that public service professionals would much rather be working productively, than worrying about rearranging their lives once again to accommodate Treasury’s Board’s latest nonsensical decisions,” said O’Reilly. “We are fighting back with every tool at our disposal and urging all public sector workers to join us in this critical battle."

PIPSC asserts that the decision to mandate federal workers into the office another day a week prioritizes external pressures over the delivery of quality public services, and blatantly disregards the evidence-based practices PIPSC has long advocated for. 

“Had there been proper consultation, the government would have understood the challenges our members are facing in these workspaces,” said O’Reilly. “Inadequate meeting spaces, insufficient workstations, and the absurdity of traveling to an assigned workplace only to attend virtual meetings all day. All this in the face of any of the supposed benefits of increased physical presence.”

PIPSC represents over 75,000 public-sector professionals across the country, most of them employed by the federal government. Follow us on Facebook, on X (formerly known as Twitter) and on Instagram.


For more information call: Johanne Fillion, 613-883-4900 (cell.),