Workers on Parliament Hill report “second-class” working conditions as they reach impasse at bargaining table 

Hundreds of Parliamentary government workers represented by the Public Service Alliance of Canada are reporting unequal working conditions at the bargaining table with little advancement from their employer. 

Negotiations are still underway for the Parliamentary Protective Service (PPS) workers, workers at the Senate and workers with the House of Commons Operational Group. 

One of the biggest sticking points for all groups is that they are not getting treated the same as other federal employees working similar jobs despite continuing to come to work in-person during the pandemic and during the difficult conditions created around the precinct in the Winter of 2022 during the “Freedom Convoy” occupation. 

When it comes to Senate, PPS and House of Commons workers, they are asking for compensation from damages due to the Phoenix pay system and the same settlement won by Treasury Board workers in the Spring. 

“What we’re asking for isn’t an unreasonable or unrealistic ask – the House of Commons is taking the position that we should provided inferior compensation adjustments compared to other federal employees,” said Anna Braddon, president of PSAC-UNE Local 70390 representing House of Commons workers. “We showed up to work every day to serve Canadians and supported the work of Parliament even during the pandemic and the convoy, we want our employer to show us the respect our members deserve.” 

Similarly, PPS Detection Specialists are asking to be treated the same as their counterparts on the Hill – constables who have far greater conditions when it comes to compensation, flexibility of scheduling as well as access to equipment necessary for their work. 

“PSAC members working on Parliament Hill have long been denied the same rights as other federal public service workers,” said Alex Silas, PSAC Regional Executive Vice-President for the National Capital Region. “Under the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act, they are denied the right to strike and are prevented from bargaining for improvements in various areas of their work. They are also the only unionized workers in Canada who cannot jointly choose an arbitrator with their employer to resolve contract disputes.” 

Examples of “second-class” treatment in bargaining, outlining the PSAC position and employers’ position for the respective units:

Issue PSAC Position House Senate PPS 
Phoenix Compensation   Same as other federal workers No No No 
Compensation for late implementation of agreement   Same as other federal workers, as Parl employers were also late. No No No 
Bilingual Bonus Same as other federal workers No No No 
Market adjustment Same as other federal workers doing similar work No No N/A 
Paid Meal Period, Equipment Allowance Same as other PPS employees N/A N/A No 
Sick leave Accrual Same as other federal shift workers No No No 
Shift and Weekend Premium on Overtime Same as other federal shift workers No No No