Ontario’s Liberal government is offering a second group of civil servants a deal, without demanding any concessions, that would extend their contracts past the next election.

The offer to the union that represents many professionals in the public service comes shortly after a similar offer was made to the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, which represents about 35,500 public servants and correctional staff.

Both tentative deals extend contracts for four years and come with 7.5-per-cent raises.

The Association of Management, Administrative and Professional Crown Employees of Ontario’s current collective agreement is set to expire March 31, 2018 and extending the contracts to 2022 would ensure no potentially contentious bargaining in the months before the June 2018 election.

The presidents of both unions have said they suspect the offers are related to that vote.

“I think it’s maybe some wise political strategy to ensure that groups like labour organizations are satisfied to some extent and at least not the opposite when they’re within a year of their election mandate,” said AMAPCEO president Dave Bulmer.

Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown said “it’s no coincidence” these offers are happening with the election a year away.

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