PSAC rejects government offer, setting up potential post-election strike

There could be a federal public-service strike later this year, but it will be up to whoever forms government after the October election to deal with it.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada, the civil service's biggest union, has walked away from talks aimed at reaching new contracts affecting more than 100,000 workers.

That has triggered a process in which a three-person panel will review what has happened in bargaining so far and write a report, which could take more than six months to complete.

And, if nothing changes between now and a week after that report is presented, PSAC will legally be allowed to hold a strike vote.

The union says the government offered its members pay increases of 1.5% annually, but PSAC president Chris Aylward says his membership is demanding wage hikes of more than three per cent.

PSAC was also the lone holdout last week when more than a dozen other unions signed onto an agreement for compensating civil servants hurt by the failed Phoenix pay system.