Let’s talk about bargaining!

As we are all aware, our colleagues in the other bargaining unit at the CRA settled on a deal (subject to ratification).

While this settlement may be sufficient for them given their membership and the realities that AFS/PIPSC members face, it certainly does not address the problems that so many of us face as UTE/PSAC members at CRA. So far, the employer wilfully withheld any economic package for UTE members. Whatever was gained by the other bargaining agent is a great starting point for us, but that is all.

Our reality at the Agency is different than the one of our colleagues in the other bargaining agent. We asked each local to submit demands that would correct problems they found in the workplace. These demands came from the shop floor, not from the bargaining team. Our mandate was and still is to bargain those demands on the membership’s behalf.

For example, we have a large number of term members. These members are subject to working precarious terms and we believe that the mandatory administrative conversion to permanent appointment should not have to wait five (5) years. We are demanding that our terms be treated the same way than their colleagues in the rest of the federal public service and that this includes the mandatory administrative conversion after three (3) consecutive years of service. We think that is fair. Imagine being a new public servant not being able to securely buy a house or make life plans not knowing if you will obtain permanency. The rest of the public service does this. CRA should do the same.

Our members working as call centre agents need better break/rest time provisions after spending so much time on the phone providing services to the public. They deserve fair scheduling. Walk a mile in their shoes and I am confident you will agree that we should be fighting for those workers too.

Your own work/life balance is also key. We want provisions that add time for you to be able to balance the increasing demands on your life with the work you enjoy and perform with loyalty. We need flexibility in our working hours. It is 2019 and there is no reason you shouldn’t be able to request flexible hours, without unreasonable denial. If your workload allows it, there is no reason that you shouldn’t be able to telework.

At the end of the day, the money is straight forward and we will fight for it make no mistake. But our agreement contains so much more than just wage increases. Our pay is a very big priority, but that goes hand in hand with the non-economic gains that we are bargaining for.

The Agency must contact us ready to bargain wages and address the key issues that we have been raising in negotiations for over a year now.

In solidarity,

Adam Jackson

UTE 2nd National Vice-President