Treasury Board President Scott Brison will repeal changes the Harper government enacted that made it more difficult for federal public servants to strike by expanding the definition of what constitutes an essential service.
The 2014 budget omnibus bill made it illegal for any federal bargaining unit to strike if 80 per cent or more of the positions in that unit are declared necessary for providing an essential service.
The legislation also allowed the government to define what exactly an essential service is, and how many positions are required to provide that service. Unions feared that the government would use these new powers to raise the number of workers deemed essential and remove their ability to strike.
Prior to the legislative change, an essential service was strictly defined as anything necessary to ensure the safety and security of Canadians, including food inspection, correctional officers, border security, search and rescue and marine safety, among other positions.