According to a story in the Hill Times, the non-partisan Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) campaigned for a Liberal re-election and were promised a “fair collective agreement” if Trudeau was re-elected.
“We liked the fact that they did promise us that they would get back to us after the election regarding a fair collective agreement for our 140,000 federal public sector members,” said national president of the union Chris Aylward.
The president of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) Debi Daviau has also indicated that the union expects the government to “reciprocate” their support.
PSAC is expected to return to the bargaining table with the federal government over settlement for the failed Phoenix system and a new collective agreement.
On October 18th, just three days before Canadians cast their ballots, PSAC pushed an analysis of the parties onto their members which praised the Liberals, NDP and Greens for having policies that worked in their interest. On the other hand, they condemned the Conservatives and threatened that a Scheer government would “result in significant job losses.”
No where in the Conservative platform did it mention cuts to the federal civil service.
Daviau also pointed out that the public service may have had a hand in re-electing Justin Trudeau, noting that in some ridings around the capital “one in four voters are public servants.” She specifically mentioned how her union influenced the re-election of Liberals David McGuinty (Ottawa South), Catherine McKenna (Ottawa Centre) and Greg Fergus (Hull-Aylmer).
“Those were strong wins, so clearly public servants did not want to return to the austerity times of the Harper government, and clearly they got out to the polls and cast their ballot. Hopefully this government is going to recognize the support that they’ve received from the public service and they’re going to reciprocate,” said Daviau
During the last election, the Liberals made a bid to reach out to public servants and called on their support just ahead of the polls in an open letter on September 25, 2015. In the letter, Justin Trudeau pledged to improve sick leave, mental health support and an overhaul of services.
“Where [Harper] sees an adversary, I see a partner. I believe that in order to have a public service that is valued by Canadians, and a source of pride for its members, it must be valued by its government,” wrote Trudeau at the time.
Research later found that the Liberals exaggerated public sector dissatisfaction under the Harper government, when in fact polls show that job satisfaction was in fact high.
In 2015, PSAC also engaged in an attack campaign against the Conservatives, called “Vote to Stop the Cuts.”
Despite Trudeau’s promises, the Liberals have done very little to revamp the Phoenix Pay system woes, which will cost Canadian taxpayers $117 million to replace.