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IRCC Strike New Update

IRCC Strike Latest Update: Employees Are Now Back At Work | May 1

Last Updated On 1 May 2023, 11:31 PM EDT (Toronto Time)

Latest IRCC Strike Update: IRCC Strike finally ends and employees have now even reported back at work as of May 1, 2023 (confirmed by our internal sources at IRCC).

IRCC social media team also confirmed the above information via Twitter official account.

For the more over 120,000 Treasury Board employees who provide vital services to Canadians, PSAC has now reached a preliminary agreements with government.

Members of the PA, SV, TC, and EB negotiating units (which includes IRCC employees) will now report to work starting on May 1 at 9 a.m. ET as the Treasury Board employees’ nationwide strike has ended.

Today, we will see the return to work of the IRCC employees, which will restore the processing.

Other significant services that were suspended due to the strike, such as passports and other non-essential government functions, will be resumed.

The processing of applications, citizenship ceremonies, and in-person appointments will all likely experience delays because of more than 1 week of backlog.

But, good news is that IRCC strike ends.

However, 35,000 members of the Canada Revenue Agency are still on strike across the nation as of May 1 as negotiations resume with a new mandate from CRA to reach a fair contract.

Over the course of the agreement, from 2021 to 2024, PSAC negotiated wage increases totaling 12.6% compounded.

In addition to securing a pensionable $2,500 lump sum payout that represents an additional 3.7% of the average PSAC member’s income in Treasury Board bargaining units, PSAC also won an additional fourth year of inflation protection under the deal.

Strike Update – April 30, 2023

Strike enters day 12 and today was the make or break day for union to make their final decision.

However, the strike may continue on Monday (May 1, 2023) as per the latest PSAC update.

At 6:30 pm EST today – PSAC tweeted, “If we don’t get a deal today, we continue to strike tomorrow. Join our May Day march from Place du Portage in Gatineau across the Ottawa River to Parliament at 9:30 a.m.

A message has been issued to union members, informing them that the union would be bringing in picketers in 20 buses from Montreal to Ottawa on Monday, according to Alex Silas, regional executive vice- president of PSAC for the national capital area.

PSAC afternoon update:

PSAC Strike - IRCC Strike

Yesterday, Canadian government clearly stated that their new offer is the final offer.

If the union accepted the government’s offer, then the strike could have ended today, directing employees to return to work as soon as tomorrow.

However, union says that they are working on their part for a fair contract and remain at the table negotiating.

PSAC DemandsGovernment
Wage increase of 13.5% (union ready to lower it down, but needs better than 9%)Federal government’s new offer includes “enhanced wage offer” in addition to Public Interest Commission recommendation of 9% raise
Continuation of work from home (telework): This has been agreed upon by all the departments, except CRA.

CRA has maintained that the collective bargaining agreement must not contain any provision about telework.
Reportedly new offer has proposed solutions to address union demands of telework, seniority, and contracting out.

Separate talks are ongoing for 35,000 CRA employees.
Contracting out: Government assurance of not contracting out public service jobs. Same as above

Latest Strike Update – April 29, 2023

Today, government of Canada issued a statement regarding the yesterday’s counter offer.

They say offer is fair, competitive and reasonably final. Below is Treasury Board official statement today.

IRCC Strike Latest Update - PSAC Strike latest update new

IRCC Strike Service Update: If you are unable to provide your biometrics within 30 days owing to a labour interruption in the public sector, you now have 60 days to finish this stage.

As per IRCC, you do not need to contact them for an extension, nor do you require a new Biometrics Instruction Letter to schedule another appointment.

Outside of Canada biometrics collection continues as visa application centres outside of Canada remain open.

PSAC will continue bargaining throughout the weekend to see if they can reach a fair deal.

The new counter offer from Canadian government is for Treasury Board group of around 120,000 employees.

There are separate negotiations for the Canada Revenue Agency group of over 35,000 employees which are still underway.

Stay tuned for more updates on IRCC strike

Previous Strike Updates

Strike Update – April 28, 2023

IRCC strike as part of PSAC strike continues on day 10 with union members ramping up pressure on the federal government.

The federal government made a counter-offer to union today in the afternoon.

The details of new offer by the government have not been made public yet, but Mona Fortier says the offer is “comprehensive.”

PSAC also stated that it will not speak further until further notice and that it wants to continue negotiations over the weekend.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, he has been directly and intimately involved in the negotiations with PSAC.

“I have deep faith in collective bargaining as a process and we know that our negotiators are putting forward serious offers and working constructively with labourers on this” PM Trudeau said.

Striking workers are moved their picket lines to major airports and Canada-U.S. border crossings to increase pressure on Canadian government.

This latest escalation from the union is perceived as a pressure tactic to get more attention from the federal government.

In response to whether back to work legislation is on cards; François-Philippe Champagne of Liberals said “No, we are not there at all.”

CBC ground level reporting states that they saw Canadians affected by this strike supporting striking workers, but not from everybody.

“One woman said she didn’t have sympathy for them, that they have pensions, that they have benefits, and that’s not something that everybody gets. So, it’s clear that the union doesn’t have unanimous support.” reports Sarah Leavitt of CBC

Strike Update – April 27, 2023

Largest strike comprising of 155,000 federal government workers enters day 9 with union and government struck in tug of war over the 3 demands out of 570.

It seems like strike will continue for rest of this week and may drag on to next week.

Today, official opposition in Canada, Conservatives Party of Canada continues to raise questions and grill federal government over Trudeau going on vacation, while biggest strike is happening in Canada.

Leader of Opposition Pierre Poilievre stated that “government is broken” citing unaffordability and doubling of the mortgages due to interest rate hike as well as the PSAC strike.

He further added that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s priority in such a time is vacation in New York. He asked when will be the PM Trudeau and his government will get back to work.

President of Treasury Board continues to reiterate that they are trying to find a reasonable deal for public servants and negotiations with union continues on the table.

Mona Fortier keeps on repeating that union demands are unreasonable as they are using recommendation of the Public Interest Commission (PIC).

202020212022 General Economic Increase2022 Additional as recommended by PIC20232024 + (ongoing)
Individual wage increase (%)N/A1.5%3.5%1.0%3.0%N/A
Cumulative wage increase (%) (additive)N/A1.5%5.0%6.0%9.0%N/A
Cumulative wage increase (%) (compounded)N/A1.5%5.1%6.1%9.3%N/A
Average increase ($)N/A$1,010$3,401$4,108$6,250$6,250
Average Salary$67,305$68,315$70,706$71,413$73,555$73,555

Union members continue to be on picket lines on day 9 of the strike affirming that they will stick to their demands and government needs to do better on negotiation table.

3 Demands That Continues to Be On Negotiation Table:

Wage increase of 13.5% (union ready to lower it down, but needs better than 9%)Still at 9% wage increase
Continuation of work from home (telework): This has been agreed upon by all the departments, except CRA.

CRA has maintained that the collective bargaining agreement must not contain any provision about telework.
Proposed formal review of work from home directives, jointly with unions.
Contracting out: Government assurance of not contracting out public service jobs. Government is willing to decrease contacting out, but not ready to lower it zero citing that it could significantly jeopardize the capacity to provide services for Canadians.

Strike Update – April 26, 2023

End of the Day 8 Strike Government of Canada is concrete on their stand as Mona Fortier again said today, “I cannot write a blank cheque” and 9% seems fair offer.

PM Trudeau said Canadians may have more difficulties accessing the services as the days come, but government trying to negotiate best deal with union because eventually the cost of increasing the wages will fall on taxpayers.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is being criticized by the opposition for attending reception given by the Consul General of Canada in New York amid the ongoing strike. 

PSAC president says, “If the prime minister can turn his back on these striking members, he will turn his back on every single worker in this country.”

The union continues to affirm that they will continue the strike until their demands are reached.

However, some employees may find 9% wage hike to be genuine raise, but would like to see for few more days if union can get a better offer.

Below is the latest update from president of Treasury Board, Mona Fortier negotiating with the union.

PSAC Strike IRCC Strike New Update
PSAC Strike IRCC Strike New Update

3 key demands continues to be on negotiation table:

Wage increase of 13.5% (union ready to lower it down, but needs better than 9%)Still at 9% wage increase
Continuation of work from home (telework): This has been agreed upon by all the departments, except CRA.

CRA has maintained that the collective bargaining agreement must not contain any provision about telework.
Proposed formal review of work from home directives, jointly with unions.
Contracting out: Government assurance of not contracting out public service jobs. Government is willing to decrease contacting out, but not ready to lower it zero citing that it could significantly jeopardize the capacity to provide services for Canadians.

The Canada Revenue Agency has confirmed that they will not extend this year’s tax deadline of May 1.

Strike Update – April 25, 2023

Reports are coming in from INC – Immigration News Canada confidential sources, that the immigration department has instructed International Network team inside Canada to prioritize temporary visa files from India, China, and Philippines.

This is to “NOT” allow the accumulation of backlog due to IRCC strike because these 3 countries usually have the highest number of applications under processing at any given time.

However, this doesn’t mean that applications from other countries are not being processed.

International Network (IN) includes temporary short-term employed staff that were hired in end of 2022 and beginning of 2023 to reduce backlogs.

These contract workers mostly deal with temporary visa applications from around the Globe, including those for visiting, work, and study visas.

Each day, they are given 80 applications for temporary visas from various nations.

However, permanent residency and citizenship applications being more complex are mostly handled by the permanent staff that is currently on IRCC strike.

Strike Update – April 24, 2023

PSAC president responding to open letter by Mona Fortier today; said they lowered the wage increase expectation.

They were demanding 13.5%, but government offered them 9% which doesn’t seem reasonable.

However, they have asked the government to provide a better offer than 9% which they are yet to hear.

He says union wants to end the strike (which includes IRCC strike) and feels the government wants to do the same as per the open letter which he see as a positive development.

Mona Fortier, President of Treasury Board responsible for negotiating the strike demands sent an open letter to all the public servants and Canadians. 👇

Mona Fortier Open letter strike

Public service employees strike including IRCC employees now enters 6th day, and the union that represents them is trying to block access to ports.

Around 100,000 of the Public Service Alliance of Canada’s (PSAC) members continues to be on strike, and some of them may shift their picket lines today to “strategic locations” such as ports where they can influence the federal government.

Important strike updates to watch out for today is whether Canadian PM Trudeau gets involved into negotiations as called upon by the PSAC president yesterday.

“Even if the government seems content to prolong this strike and its impact on Canadians, I know you have the collective power to get us to a fair deal in the coming days.” PSAC president

Strike Update – April 23, 2023

Union said that on Monday April 24, 2023, they will shift the picket lines to “strategic locations” in an effort to further disrupt government operations.

National president of PSAC, Chris Aylward said that pickets could target “strategic locations that are going to have an impact on the government and in particular on revenue streams as well.”

The union and Treasury Board, the official employer of public employees and led by Treasury Board President Mona Fortier, continued their discussions over the weekend.

Fortier emphasized that the negotiations should be settled at the bargaining table and that the government would be watching to make sure the picket lines are legal.

The fact that we are still at the bargaining table, she remarked, is excellent news in her opinion.

Regarding the three key issues that have driven the negotiations thus far—wages, remote work, and the issue of seniority during layoffs—both parties acknowledge that there is still gap in meeting the demands.

However, Fortier stated, “I believe there is a good deal on the table and I believe it’s time to close that deal,”

Union president Aylward said on Sunday that they want to resume work and put an end to the strike as quickly as possible, but it is upto government.

He further added that has to take the strike seriously and discuss the 3 topics in a “meaningful way.”

Employees, member of the union get $75 a day as strike pay and this translates into more than $11.62 million if multiplied to 155,000 union members.

However, Aylward has consistently maintained that strike compensation is not a concern since they have access to more than $200 million.

He said “My call is for the prime minister, for Justin Trudeau, to get back down to negotiating — to get involved personally. It seems like he’s not taking this seriously. You’ve got the largest strike on our hands in the country and the prime minister is not taking this seriously.”

Strike Update – April 22, 2023

Big Update: In a late Saturday afternoon appearance, PSAC president calls on government saying that Treasury board is incompetent in dealing with their bargaining package and has not responded to them.

According to PSAC president, they gave Canadian government a comprehensive package that they thought will end the strike and reach an agreement on Thursday night.

And on Friday morning, Feds said that they will respond to them, but just on one of the issues mentioned in the package.

However, PSAC president pointed out that they have not received any response from the Canadian government.

He further pointed out that this reflects incompetence of the Treasury Board president, Mona Fortier.

According to PSAC, even prime minister Justin Trudeau did nothing concrete to move the negotiations forward, apart from just saying that they want to reach a deal.

Official Response by the Canadian Government

New reveal: Only 35 per cent of 120,000 striking federal workers cast ballots in the vote to strike, according to a ruling filed Thursday by the federal labour board.

Documents show only 42,421 Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) members voted, and of those, more than 80 per cent voted in favour of a strike. 

Strike continue during the weekend, but union members will not be holding any picket lines.

PSAC said workers scheduled to work weekend shifts will not report to work as they remain on strike.

Strike Update – April 21, 2023

New reports are coming in that Canadian government is messaging some federal public servants to continue to work and get paid their usual salary during the strike.

One of union’s leader says government’s this is “hypocritical” and is against the promised anti-scab legislation.

Anti-scab legislation would prohibit union employers in the federally regulated private sector from using substitute employees, often known as “scabs,” during a lockout or strike.

It seems like Canadian government has plans of exhausting the employees on strike, offering opt-out of the strike, and then reaching the final negotiation.

Major issue that government and union is not able to reach a solution is on “return to work” aspect.

Experts say that strike will not last long; either the government and union will reach an agreement or the Canadian government will have to use “back-to-work legislation” (given the extent of work being affected).

Back-to-work legislation is a special law already passed in Canada that can order the public workers to end strike and get back to work without meeting any demands or meeting partial demands.

At this time, Liberal government has clearly stated that they will not use the back-to-work legislation and allow workers to put their demands forward, offering fair chance to reach a consensus in good faith.

As of now, there are no concrete official updates, but it is expected that strike may continue beyond the weekend.

Multiple applicants are reporting that they are receiving emails stating that their citizenship ceremony is being canceled because of ongoing strike.

Currently, there is no meeting scheduled by the union or government officials and progress seems to be quite slow on resolving the strike.

“As you can imagine in negotiations it’s back and forth, working really hard to understand which side wants something and compromise, and I believe that’s the best way to reach a deal is at the table,” Fortier, President of the Treasury Board.

She further added, “We will continue today to work very hard so that we get a competitive deal for workers, a fair one, and also that will be reasonable to Canadians because we need to strike a balance for both.”

IRCC Strike Update – April 20, 2023

Minister Sean Fraser in an interview (in French) with CPAC around 6 pm EST (Toronto time), said that IRCC staff not showing up for work has caused significant impact on overall functioning of the immigration department. 

Furthermore, he added that staff in international network continues to work and there are people who are providing essential services for emergency situations to offset the effects of strike.

Additionally, he said that impact to deal with gap in department’s service is very serious for immigration and citizenship applications.

Minister said some activities for example the citizenship ceremony events will be canceled because it is very difficult to manage the situation with the networks.

Reporter pointed out to already longer than usual processing times and asked the immigration minister to provide an update on measures/steps they are taking to reduce the impacts of strike.

Fraser said offsetting the effects of strike, being his priority, they are doing as much as possible  using the international network to minimize the effect of strike on department’s operations.

He said that IRCC is maintaining services with priority to essential services such as people fleeing wars or who are under difficult circumstances.

Minister further added the impact of strike is not certain and it may take some time to understand the solution for reducing the impact of strike.

In the end, IRCC minister said he is still optimistic, but there is a lot of work to be done in negotiating with the employees union and reaching a solution for employees, especially a level consistent with terms for workers to return to the office.

Sean Fraser clearly indicated that he wants to find a solution faster and resolving the strike is the Canadian government’s top most priority.

Strike Update – April 19, 2023

IRCC employees are now officially on strike until government agrees to their demands.

Long term/indeterminate (full-time employees) are on strike beginning at 12:01 am EST Wednesday April 19, 2023 in alignment with the PSAC instructions.

Our internal sources reveal that IRCC staff managers had virtual meetings on April 18 around 2-3 pm EST, with their team members providing instructions for the strike.

These IRCC employees are NOT on Strike: IRCC employees who occupy managerial or confidential positions excluded from the bargaining unit, working in positions designated as essential while on duty, term employees hired for a period of less than 3 months, working on a casual basis, in a student employment program, or belong to a bargaining unit NOT in a legal strike position.

So, temporary short-term hired employees will continue to work as usual. Temporary short-term employees were hired to clear the backlogs and are not part of any union.

These temporary employees mostly handle the temporary visa applications such as study visa, work visa, and visitor visa.

They are assigned 80 applications per day from different countries for temporary visas.

However, immigration minister said that ongoing IRCC labour disruption will cause severe impact on processing of applications.

Permanent residency applications being more complex are handled by permanent employees, so we may see a dent in processing of such applications.

PSAC update on April 19

PSAC officially declared strike beginning at 12:01 am EST Wednesday April 19, 2023.

Collective bargaining agreements are now being negotiated between the Canadian government and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC).

These all sums up to around 155,000 workers who offer a variety of services to the general population in different departments.

Below is the latest response by CRA on Public Service Alliance of Canada–Union of Taxation Employees’ ongoing strike.

PSAC - IRCC Strike New Update

Previous CPAC Updates

On April 17, PSAC president set a deadline of 9 pm EST April 18, 2023. He said if no deal is reached by 9 pm EST tomorrow on April 18, 2023, then there will be a national general strike beginning at 12:01 am EST Wednesday April 19, 2023 by all the 155,000 members of CRA and Treasury Board.

PSAC president didn’t name any other department to join the strike. However, our sources confirm that IRCC employees, member of PSAC will also join the strike,.

Below is the live announcement by the union on April 17, 2023.

But government of Canada has not met or aligned with request of union, so PSAC has now officially declared strike leaving the services in limbo.

Initial Official Response By the Canadian Government

As per latest official press release, the Government of Canada says they recognize the essential contributions of public workers and will continue talks with the PSAC in order to reach a speedy agreement that will put much-needed salary increases in the hands of employees as soon as feasible.

Furthermore, they urged the PSAC to join them in building on the progress they have already achieved so that employees may return to providing the critical services on which Canadians rely.

As a result of the strike, Canadians may expect that some government services will be delayed or unavailable.

On April 16, the government tabled a wage offer of 9% as per the Public Interest Commission’s suggestions over a three-year period. As per the Canadian government, this is a reasonable and competitive offer.

Adding to this, Federal government also believes that there is still time before the start of the strike to reach an agreement with the union.

The process of implementing employee pay raises and benefits will start as soon as an agreement is achieved.

However, the PSAC is holding on to their other demands such as enshrining telework in collective agreements and are now on a strike.

As per PSAC, reaching an agreement on these additional demands will play a decisive role on deciding the strike.

However, government of Canada is inviting PSAC to cooperate in finding alternative solutions with realistic counter proposals, that fairly address the worries of public employees.

So this situation may take some time to reach an agreement and based on these statements, we believe that 155,000 PSAC members will be going on strike beginning April 19, 2023.

Below listed are the services that could get affected by the strike:

IRCC Service Disruption

The majority of IRCC services would be affected by a labour disruption and applicants can expect delays in:

  1. applications processing.
  2. in-person appointments including citizenship ceremony.
  3. contacting IRCC via email, phone or social media
  4. services for consular citizenship and passport
  5. in-Canada passport services

It is important to note that only the IRCC employees part of the union groups will go on strike.

Certain IRCC services will continue as usual during the legal strike.

Services Maintained During IRCC Strike

Applicants will still be able to apply online for different immigration or visa programs.

They will also be able to mail their applications to IRCC as well as use their online accounts during the service disruption.

Furthermore, access to some emergency services will continue as well.

Apart from these, other services provided by non-governmental organizations will also stay available such as

  • settlement services from IRCC partner organizations,
  • healthcare under the Interim Federal Health Program,
  • visa application centres outside of Canada.

Service Canada and ESDC Service Disruption

CRA Service Disruption

Canadians are being urged by the federal government to submit their taxes as soon as possible.

Canadians can utilize online services like Express NOA and Auto-fill my return in approved tax preparation software by signing up for CRA My Account access.

Certain CRA services may be delayed or become unavailable in the event of strike.

More specifically, you can anticipate longer wait times in the contact centres and possible delays in the processing of some income tax and benefit returns, especially those submitted on paper.

Online services via will be maintained during the strike which includes:

CRA Strike maintained services

On April 7, the majority of PSAC-UTE members exercised their right to vote and gave their union a mandate to strike. Following this 155,000 federal public sector employees went on strike beginning April 19, 2023.

CRA – PSAC-UTE collective bargaining latest update – April 21

Stay tuned for more updates on IRCC strike.

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