What to do during other groups’ strike action

Published On: 13, April 2023

As you may know, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) has announced strike votes for more than 120,000 of its members, including the PA, SV, TC, and EB groups. They will be conducted from February 22 to April 11, 2023.

Therefore, it’s possible that come the spring, PSAC will be in a legal strike position, and you may come across picket lines in front of your office building. We wanted to keep members informed about their rights and options during their colleagues’ strike action, so we’ve assembled a short FAQ.

Am I obligated to strike or join my colleagues on the picket lines?

Though we encourage you to be supportive of your striking coworkers, IBEW 2228 is not in a legal strike position. You must abide by the terms and conditions of your collective agreement and report to work as scheduled.

What should I do if a picket line is blocking the entrance to my building?

While ideally picket lines would be peaceful and orderly, if they are blocking access to your building, call your supervisor or another designated management representative and request that they provide safe passage through the picket line. Make sure that you have phone numbers for management representatives who may be required to escort you across picket lines, along with any additional information you may require regarding procedures to follow in your department during strike action. You will be paid if you report to work, even if you spend part of your work hours waiting to be escorted by management, since it’s management’s responsibility to ensure your safety.

What should I do if my manager suggests I work elsewhere on a designated office day due to the strike?

If you’ve reported to work and are told to work elsewhere by your manager, it is IBEW’s position that your attendance should be recorded as having reported to the office as expected.

However, should you have any issues with this, please contact us.

If I’m asked to cover the workload of a striking colleague, am I obligated to do so?

Under the pressures of a strike, management may ask you to perform the work of an employee on strike. Unless you believe the assigned work would be a threat to your safety and security, you cannot refuse a direct order from management, and you should comply with the request.

If you are asked to perform duties that are outside your regular duties and that you feel are not duties that should be performed by an EL, please contact IBEW immediately at office@ibew2228.ca so we can assist. It is our position that unless the strike work is assigned as a result of an emergency, you are only obligated to perform duties belonging to the EL group.

Who should I contact if I have any other questions about others groups’ strike action?

If you’re ever in doubt on how to proceed during strike action, please contact office@ibew2228.ca.