Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada

Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada

January 30, 2015 14:23 ET

Supreme Court of Canada Victory on Right to Strike Challenges Bill C-4

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Jan. 30, 2015) - The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) applauds today's Supreme Court of Canada ruling that the prohibition against strikes contained in Saskatchewan's Public Service Essential Services Act (PSESA) substantially interferes with a meaningful process of collective bargaining, and is in violation of s. 2(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

This provincial legislation, enacted in 2008, had made it difficult for public sector workers to engage in strike activity by allowing the government to unilaterally determine what services are essential and the number of employees who are allowed to refuse to work in the event of a strike.

The constitutionality of the PSESA had been challenged by the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) and other unions on the basis that it infringes rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Charter. PIPSC was an intervener in the case in support of the SFL's position.

"We are gratified that the Supreme Court chose to build on its recent decisions defending meaningful collective bargaining," said PIPSC President Debi Daviau. "With the passage of Bill C-4, federal public service employees are faced with very similar legislation which grants the government carte blanche over essential services designations, leaving bargaining agents with little recourse. This decision is a direct challenge to this Conservative legislation, which has imposed the most radical changes to federal public service labour relations in 40 years."

The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada represents some 55,000 professionals across Canada's public sector.

Contact Information

  • Pierre Villon
    (613) 228-6310 extension 2228 (office)
    (613) 794-9369 (cell)