Public service

Conversation Starter: What does rising inflation mean for Canadian workers?

Inflation is rising rapidly in Canada and around the world, and workers are struggling.

Growing consumer demand, global supply chain disruptions, product shortages and rising oil prices have all contributed to a spiraling cost of living.

This fall, consumer prices in Canada rose at their fastest pace in 18 years. Food prices have increased by almost 4%and are expected to rise another 5-7% in 2022. A 4.8% rise in the cost of housing is also expected, with increases in rents and mortgages on the horizon.

In 2021, the average inflation rate for goods in Canada was 4.4%. In the 20 years before the pandemic, inflation for goods averaged just 1.4%.

The outlook is not at all reassuring. The Bank of Canada says it doesn’t know when supply chain problems will resolve and when inflationary pressures will ease.

Meeting basic needs is increasingly difficult for individuals and families across Canada. For those working part-time, in precarious conditions and part of marginalized communities, a breaking point seems even closer.

Workers in Canada need to see the kinds of wage increases that would allow them to cope with the rising cost of living.

Now more than ever, unions must take action to protect workers from inflation by fighting for fair wages, good working conditions and inclusive workplaces – not just for public servants, but for all Canadian workers.

Raising wages by the same percentage as the rate of inflation is the bare minimum to ensure that workers and their families across the country can stay afloat as expenses soar. Wage increases are also a crucial way to stimulate the economy of small communities across Canada. They allow workers to put their wages to work where they live and pay for groceries and other essential goods and services.

Inflation rates are at the highest levels seen in over 18 years, and members deserve a pay rise that keeps pace with rising food, housing and childcare costs – nothing less. is a pay cut for federal public service workers.

That’s why the PSAC has proposed a 4.5 per cent wage increase each year of a three-year contract for more than 165,000 federal public service workers who are currently in the process of negotiating new collective agreements. with the government.

Our members continued to provide frontline services throughout the pandemic, rolling out vital new programs in record time for Canadians who needed them most. Their ability to continue to provide these services effectively to everyone across Canada is at stake.

At this critical time, when the future of workers – and the Canadians they serve – hangs in the balance, it is up to the federal government to step in and provide wages that match the rising cost of living to that employers across the country follow suit and make sure no one is left behind.

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