(Montreal) Negotiations between the federal government and state employees have just taken another turn, as members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada have come out in favor of a strike mandate to be triggered at the appropriate time.

For the purposes of this vote, the PSAC represents some 120,000 federal public servants. It is the largest union of civil servants in the country. They work within the various federal departments and agencies.

This vote in favor of the strike is added to that of the members of the Union of Tax Employees, also affiliated with the Alliance, which represents 35,000 members who work at the Canada Revenue Agency. They had already come out “overwhelmingly” in favor of a strike mandate, the PSAC announced last Friday.

A strike could therefore be called in the coming weeks.

The PSAC did not want to reveal right now its strategy to know if a possible strike would take the form of isolated strike days or by blocks of days, a rotating strike by regions or an unlimited strike.

If a strike were to be called, essential services would have to be maintained. Discussions to this effect have already taken place between the parties.

Negotiations between the Treasury Board and the Alliance were not broken off, however.

The dispute concerns salary increases, telecommuting and the outsourcing of public service jobs to the private sector.