The return to in-person work for federal officials Monday proved complicated at the Shawinigan control center, which lacks office space to accommodate everyone.
More than 1,500 employees were expected in the office, but only 600 seats are available. Only executives went to work in Shawinigan on Monday.
In the past two years, the government has hired a lot, which explains the blatant lack of jobs, but also of parking spaces.
“It’s a nice problem when we’ve created something that people want to come to us for. This is why the new building will be used,” explained François-Philippe Champagne, Minister for Innovation, Science and Industry.
A solution to the problem would be to accommodate the employees in the new premises currently under construction, but which will not be ready for occupancy until sometime in 2024.
The announcement of the partial return to face-to-face operations angered several employees. “As hastily announced before the holidays. At the agency we had a return to work plan that was mapped out, public and timed. That was very clear,” said the chairman of the association of the local group 10005, Julien Nobert.
The trade union has also been in a negotiation phase for more than a year and a half. Workers want to review wages upwards and also address the possibility of teleworking. They will move to strike voting by the end of April. Strike days will likely come in the middle of tax season.
The situation appears to be similar in the data center, where nothing has changed since last week and employees have not been notified of an impending return to work in hybrid mode.