The federal government's return-to-office deadline has arrived — and on cue, a major public-sector union is holding a rally in Ottawa to call attention to workers' concerns.
The Public Service Alliance of Canada, which is hosting the demonstration and represents 165,000 federal workers, says women are disproportionately affected by the government's mandate.
The union says that parents have been struggling to find affordable child-care and get adequate accommodations from the government.
Treasury Board President Mona Fortier announced a mandatory hybrid work model in December that required public servants to return to the office two to three times per week, to be implemented by March 31.
The Treasury Board says a few workplaces, such as Canada Revenue Agency call centres and the immigration and employment departments, have been granted exemptions so as to "assess the benefits" of remote work.
The union and government will begin mediated negotiations on Sunday as a potential strike looms, with the union saying the return-to-office plan will be part of discussions at the bargaining table.