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People In Bilingual Government Of Canada Jobs Would Get A $1,500 Bonus Under This Proposal

Right now, eligible workers get an extra $800 a year. A union wants them to get an additional $700.

Senior Editor
Government of Canada logo and Canadian flag on an office building.

Government of Canada logo and Canadian flag on an office building.

A union of federal government workers is calling on Canada to almost double the annual bonus it gives to employees in bilingual positions. Right now, eligible employees get an extra $800. The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) wants that number bumped up to $1,500.

"If the government is serious about supporting official languages, the bilingualism bonus should be increased," the PSAC said in a March 3 statement, noting that the bonus amount hasn't changed since the early '90s.

Only workers in bilingual English-French positions with "Second Language Evaluation (SLE) results confirming that he/she meets the language requirements of his position" are currently eligible for the bonus.

The union is additionally calling for employees who are bilingual in an Indigenous language to receive the bonus.

The PSAC also took aim at the proposed reform of the Officials Languages Act, Bill C-13, saying it "lacks the teeth and vision needed to protect the French language in Canada and promote bilingualism across the federal public service."

With Bill C-13, the Liberal government aims to, among other goals, better ensure the right to speak French in many federally regulated workplaces.

But the PSAC wants the government to go further. It's pushing for free second-language training for federal employees.

The union suggests that the need for robust investment in French language protection in the workplace has become even more critical during the pandemic.

As meetings and communications become more remote, it says, "Interpretation is often inadequate, and information often isn't sent out by managers in both official languages."

More than one in five francophones in a member survey told the PSAC that "they weren't able to use the language of their choice during meetings."

To the union, "That's simply unacceptable."

This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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