CAPE fiercely opposes three-day per week return-to-office mandate

The Canadian Association of Professional Employees (CAPE) is staunchly opposed to any change in the government’s current return-to-office policy that mandates an increase in the number of days employees are required to report to the office. 

CAPE has not been consulted about any changes to this policy, stands against any decision to increase the number of days spent in the office every week, and will continue to organize and support its members to push for greater telework rights. 

CAPE opposes any mandatory in-office presence for any federal worker where there is not a clearly demonstrated operational requirement. 

"This announcement is a disaster. We are shocked at this decision which has been made in secret without consultation, and with no valid reason given,” said Nathan Prier, president of CAPE. “We will be joining our members and their colleagues in their workplaces to fight against this decision which completely ignores common sense. Clearly the government lacks vision and coherence. Our trust has never been lower. We will not be taking this lying down.”

So far, the government has offered no evidence or data that employees are more productive or collaborative in the office. The government has also failed to address existing issues with the current policy, including unhealthy work environments, lack of office space and failure to provide necessary accommodations. 

Any increase in the number of days public sector employees must report to the office will only exacerbate these problems and have significant negative consequences on employee well-being and effectiveness.

Telework is one of the highest priorities for CAPE members.  

CAPE is fully committed to negotiating a deal that will allow workers who are able to – and prefer – to telework. 

Our members are more productive and more satisfied with their jobs when they can work in their chosen environment, as they did successfully throughout the pandemic. This decision would do the opposite, to the detriment of Canadian taxpayers across the country. 

Telework has proven beneficial on multiple levels and delivers better results for Canadians. These are gains the employer can no longer afford to ignore:

  • Telework boosts federal employees’ productivity, reducing sick days and allowing them to reclaim time and energy that would otherwise be wasted commuting and sorting out failed desk-sharing systems. 
  • Telework supports better work-life balance, which is especially important for women and allows them to participate in the workplace more fully. 
  • Requiring fewer employees to be on site will significantly reduce operational costs by releasing expensive properties that can be converted into housing or other utilities that best serve cities and communities.
  • Telework opens up jobs and opportunities for Canadians across the country who otherwise would not have had access.
  • For all Canadians, removing thousands of federal employees off the roads and instead living and working in their communities outside major city centres can help reduce traffic and greenhouse gas emissions, boost local economies and build more dynamic remote communities. 

    For media inquiries:

    Katia Thériault
    Tel: 819-431-1015