Approximately 94,000 federal employees will see pay hikes in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
On Wednesday ,the federal government reached a tentative agreement with the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) to increase wages for 10,000 employees by 6.64% over the next three years.
Earlier in the month, 84,000 federal employees in “administrative services” also received a 6.64% pay hike.
The deal will also see employees get 10-day domestic violence leave, along with increased parental and caregiver leave.
According to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, the wages of federal bureaucrats are among the government’s biggest expenses, amounting to $47.3 billion in 2020.
Earlier in July Finance Minister Bill Morneau reported that the 2020-2021 federal deficit has reached $343.2 billion, with the federal debt likely to reach $1.2 trillion.
“The idea that government employees should be getting a pay raise right now is incredibly tone deaf,” said Aaron Wudrick, director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
“There are millions of Canadians who have lost their business, lost their job, taken a pay cut, and now they see people in government not only making no sacrifice at all, but actually getting a pay raise, which ultimately is going to come out of the pockets of people working in the private sector,” he said.
Many federal employees have enjoyed significant benefits in 2020, even as the majority of Canadians in the private sector have suffered.
While private sector unemployment reached unprecedented highs during the coronavirus pandemic, many federal employees took paid leaves from work.
Since the pandemic began, government employees taking paid leaves of absence from work have cost the taxpayer $439.3 million.
It was recently revealed that federal employees working from home during the pandemic could receive up to $500 to buy new office furniture.