The Treasury Board Secretariat announced today the rollout of a mandatory return-to-office policy that will force all federal employees to return to the office two to three days a week ─ or 40 per cent to 60 per cent of their regular schedule. It is set to begin January 16, 2023, and will be fully implemented by no later than March 31, 2023. Unions were informed shortly before the announcement was made public.
“This is a slap in the face of unions and of our members who have shown nothing but complete dedication to their employer and Canadians since the beginning of the pandemic,” said CAPE President Greg Phillips. “This announcement is happening right in the middle of a nationwide viral cocktail of three viruses that are having severe impacts on Canadians' health and filling up our hospitals. Additionally, it comes at a time when telework has already proven its all-around benefits for both employees and the employer, it's nonsensical.”
Other than the need for a consistent approach to how hybrid work is implemented throughout departments and agencies, no rationale was provided for pushing back on a better telework model.
Unions represented at the meeting expressed their outrage directly at the Treasury Board, lamenting their lack of transparency and their disregard for the need to adapt to new and proven working models.
CAPE is working to coordinate a joint response with the Public Service Alliance of Canada, the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada and other bargaining agents.