Contract Negotiations

CRA rattled by strike vote announcement – February 14, 2020

Our bargaining team was very surprised – to say the least – to see CRA’s email to all staff today regarding our current negotiations.

After more than four years without a wage increase, the CRA has never made a wage offer to our bargaining team. Not in the Public Interest Commission (PIC) hearings, and not at the negotiation table. There has been absolutely nothing preventing them from doing so, including any outstanding demands from the union – that’s exactly what the bargaining table is for.

In addition, negotiations via a communique in the manner that the Commissioner has engaged in is not only irresponsible – it may be illegal. PSAC is consulting our legal counsel to see if today’s communication is grounds for taking legal action against the CRA for bad faith bargaining.

As for the wage proposal that the Commissioner communicated in his ‘update’ for 2016 – 2022, we note that it is significantly less than what our coworkers received in the AFS group in terms of economic increases for the same period of time. We are not second-class employees. We deserve much better than this.

It’s clear that announcing our upcoming strike votes has rattled the CRA leadership and caused them to lash out so recklessly. This is all the more reason for PSAC-UTE members to vote in favour of a strong strike mandate. CRA has made it obvious that they will only be moved by the threat of workplace action.

The Commissioner is complaining about the number of demands. Here is the bottom line: We have yet to have any meaningful negotiations with the Agency as they refuse to address our core issues in any substantive way. This includes wages.

We at CRA all have coworkers who work years on term contracts without ever getting the chance to have a permanent job. That doesn’t happen anywhere else in public service. There is more and more evening work at CRA. Working conditions in our call centres are a nightmare. And CRA wants to expand shift work while seeking even more concessions from us.

We are done being lectured at by our employer. Support your bargaining team at our upcoming strike votes to make sure we can return to the bargaining table in a position to win a fair contract and make CRA a better place to work.


CRA bargaining: Strike votes to begin in February – February 3, 2020

PSAC-UTE will begin holding strike votes beginning on February 17. The union have been negotiating in good faith for a new collective agreement with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) since June 2018, but CRA management has consistently refused to address our members’ concerns and has instead insisted on a range of concessions.

It has now been more than four years since we last received a wage increase in November 2015, yet the Agency keeps rejecting our wage proposal. Even worse, in all this time, management has not even bothered to respond to us with its own monetary proposal. It’s just not possible to negotiate when the other party doesn’t even care enough to make a counteroffer.

The government also continues to reject our proposals to improve work-life balance, increase job security for term employees, and enhance working conditions in call centres.

The Agency’s failure to reach a new agreement with us has meant that working conditions at the CRA have suffered, which also means that the service we proudly provide Canadians is suffering.

A Public Interest Commission (PIC) wrapped up on January 20 and we expect a PIC report with non-binding recommendations for a contract settlement later this winter. While we are of course open to meeting with CRA management to reach an agreement at any time, the time has also come for us—together, as a union—to take a stand.

We need to show CRA management and the government that we’ve had enough and that we won’t let them drag this out any longer.

We deserve a fair contract now, and getting a strong strike mandate from our membership is the best way to get it.

For more information on the strike votes, please check our Frequently Asked Questions.


Management Reaffirms Concessions and Rejects Contract Improvements – January 23, 2020

On January 20, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) management presented its bargaining proposals at a Public Interest Commission (PIC) hearing, reaffirming its push for regressive changes to the collective agreement and its rejection of union proposals. Moreover, the CRA once again failed to present its own wage proposal, even while rejecting the union’s proposal.

PSAC-UTE has made it clear to the CRA leadership numerous times that we will not accept concessions, yet the CRA continues to come back with the same unacceptable proposals. These include:

  • A reduction in the amount of vacation credits that workers can carry over each year.
  • A reduction of family-related leave for term employees.
  • Giving management the unilateral right to schedule all workers for shifts starting as early at 6 AM with neither union consultation nor the standard $7 per hour premium.

PSAC-UTE previously presented proposals to address key members concerns and advance new rights, including:

  • Improving work-life balance through an increase in paid family-related leave, and greater access to compressed work weeks and telework.
  • Limiting evening and restricting weekend work, and having management recognize years of service when there is evening and weekend work so that employees can have some say in when they work.
  • Improving working conditions in call centres, including more rest breaks and more reasonable, reduced monitoring of employees by management.
  • Introducing a term-roll over policy similar to those of other government departments and agencies, which provide term workers a clear path to becoming permanent.

However, the CRA continues to reject all these proposals, wanting to preserve sole managerial discretion in allowing, denying or removing compressed work weeks, in assigning evening or 6 AM shifts to employees, or authorizing continuous monitoring of call centre workers. We do not accept this. Employees deserve to have rights protected under our collective agreement. Our proposals have already been agreed to by other federal employers. We deserve the same and will continue pushing for a better contract for all.

PSAC-UTE’s last contract with CRA expired on October 31, 2016 and our last wage increase occurred in November 2015 – well over four years ago. The agency has rejected our proposed annual increases for the 2016-2019 period but doesn’t want to make us a counteroffer. We deserve reasonable wage increases that, at minimum, keep up with the increasing cost of living. Read our full wage proposal, including detailed rationale, on page 179 of our PIC submission.

PSAC-UTE’s bargaining team presented the union’s proposals’ package at the PIC on January 6.

We are now awaiting recommendations for a contract settlement from the PIC, which we expect sometime in late winter.

What is a Public Interest Commission (PIC)?
Under the law that governs contract negotiations in the federal public service, once impasse is reached at the bargaining table, a PIC is established to help the parties reach an agreement.

The PIC is a panel of three people – a chairperson appointed by the Labour Board and nominees appointed by the union and management. The union and the employer submit briefs and explain their positions on the outstanding issues at a hearing with the PIC. The PIC then issues a report with recommendations for settlement. The recommendations are not binding. Once the PIC releases its reports for the various PSAC units, the union’s respective bargaining teams will meet to discuss the recommendations.

Traditionally, following this, PSAC’s teams and government representatives have returned to the table to resume negotiations. We expect the PIC report for bargaining with CRA to be issued in late winter 2020.


CRA Bargaining: PSAC Presents Proposals For Contract Improvements at PIC Hearing – January 9, 2020

On January 6, PSAC-UTE’s bargaining team presented proposed contract improvements for Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) members at a Public Interest Commission (PIC) hearing. The team made the case for:

  • A fair compensation package. Our last contract expired on October 31, 2016 and our last wage increase occurred in November 2015 – well over three years ago. We deserve reasonable wage increases that, at minimum, keep up with the increasing cost of living.
  • Better working conditions for call centre workers. We are pushing for improved working conditions in call centres, including more rest breaks and more reasonable, reduced monitoring of employees by management.
  • Improved scheduling rights. We want to limit evening and restrict weekend work, and have management recognize years of service when there is evening and weekend work.
  • Improved work-life balance. It has been far too long since we have seen an increase in paid leave in our collective agreement. The government needs to put its money where its mouth is when it comes to improving work-life balance at CRA. And the time has come for the Agency to show that its ‘People First’ philosophy is more than just a slogan.

PSAC-UTE also continues to push the CRA for more indeterminate employment opportunities for term workers, improved protections against layoffs, and an overall reduction in contracting out. However, these demands were not part of the union’s presentation as they are beyond the jurisdiction of the PIC.

You can download PSAC-UTE’’s PIC submission here.

The Agency will be making its arguments before the PIC January 20.

If you have any questions or concerns, or want more information on our proposals, speak with your Local President or UTE Regional Vice-President. You can also sign up for email updates.

What is a Public Interest Commission (PIC)?

Under the law that governs contract negotiations in the federal public service, once impasse is reached at the bargaining table, a PIC is established to help the parties reach an agreement.

The PIC is a panel of three people – a chairperson appointed by the Labour Board and nominees appointed by the union and management. The union and the employer submit briefs and explain their positions on the outstanding issues at a hearing with the PIC. The PIC then issues a report with recommendations for settlement. The recommendations are not binding.

Once the PIC releases its reports for the various PSAC units, the union’s respective bargaining teams will meet to discuss the recommendations. Traditionally, following this, PSAC’s teams and government representatives have returned to the table to resume negotiations. We expect the PIC report for bargaining with CRA to be issued in late winter 2020.


Mourning 3 Years Without A Contract – October 31, 2019

Today, October 31, 2019 marks 3 years since YOUR contract expired.

In order to mark this unfortunate anniversary, we are providing our members with a solidarity pin to wear to send a clear message to the CRA that we are all very frustrated with the way the negotiations are going so far and that our patience has reached its limit.

There is absolutely no reason for negotiations to take this long and it is due time for the employer to come back to the bargaining table with a clear mandate to address the important issues that we raised on behalf of our members and to provide them with a compensation package that reflects the hard work that they perform.

We ask that you wear the pin with pride in the workplace to show that you want the negotiations to resume as soon as possible.

Three years is three years too long!

Marc Brière
UTE National President

Adam Jackson
UTE 2nd National Vice-President


Bargaining Update (Summer 2019) – July 24, 2019

Sisters and Brothers,

I hope your summer is going well and you are able to enjoy some time with friends and family.

We have received official notice from the Federal Public Service Labour Relations and Employment Board that our hearing dates for the Public Interest Commission (PIC) have been set for January 6th and 20th, 2020.  This is really the same timeline as the other tables that are heading to the PIC.  While we are disappointed with the incredibly long timelines throughout this process the dates are set.

At this hearing, we will present our side on the issues that need fixing in our workplaces in addition to the economic increases that we deserve.  Make no mistake, you deserve no less than other bargaining agents got and we will make the case that you deserve better.

Recently and on more than one occasion, we made it clear to the employer that we are willing to go back to the bargaining table in the event that they are willing to make meaningful progress on our bargaining demands including the economic proposals.  Please know that to this point there is no wage offer on the table.

As stated above, if the employer wishes to move forward, they have every opportunity to show you that they want to address our issues by getting back to the table.

We only want the best for you and with your help we will make it happen.

While waiting for the PIC to take place, many actions can be taken such as meeting with your MP especially given the impending election and their canvassing.  Letter writing is also an option as the incumbents wish to be re-elected and their competition need your votes to do so.  Take advantage of that leverage. If you haven’t done so already, please consider writing the Minister of National Revenue as well.

We can do this together.

In Solidarity,

Adam Jackson
UTE 2nd National Vice-President


PSAC-UTE continue pursuit of a fair collective agreement with the CRA – June 1, 2019

“The tentative collective agreement settlements reached by the federal Treasury Board and the Canada Revenue Agency with some federal unions this week will not stand in the way of proper compensation for PSAC/UTE members who work for the CRA”, says PSAC National President Chris Aylward.

“Negotiations with the CRA are at impasse and, despite the Agency’s objections, the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board is establishing a Public Interest Commission to review the positions of the parties and make recommendations, says UTE National President Marc Brière.

“We are prepared to go back to the bargaining table, but the CRA must show it is prepared to address the important concerns of our members including compensation, work-life balance and working conditions in call centres,” said Brière.

After almost a year of negotiations, the Agency continues to insist on concessions and refused to table wages when the parties met in mediation.

Our bargaining team is interested in collective agreement improvements, not rollbacks,” said UTE 2nd National Vice-President Adam Jackson.

“There are serious problems at CRA that need resolving, including issues related to scheduling and the fact that a great many of our members spend years at the Agency as terms and are never provided the opportunity for permanent employment. This needs to change,” concluded Brière.

The PSAC-UTE bargaining team is committed to achieving a fair contract—one that protects hard-fought gains and secures new rights and protections for PSAC-UTE members.


PSAC-UTE declares impasse as CRA refuses to address member concerns – May 10, 2019

The PSAC-Union of Taxation Employees (PSAC-UTE) bargaining team representing members at the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) declared bargaining impasse following talks held from May 7 to 9 in Ottawa. The session was held in the presence of a federal mediator.

The CRA once again refused to address key member concerns and instead insisted on the union agreeing to concessions.

Wages: We tabled a wage proposal back in December. The Agency ignored it for several months but eventually agreed to present its response at this week’s session. In an unprecedented move, however, the CRA reneged on its promise.

Term employment: We presented a proposal to allow term employees the opportunity to gain indeterminate status, rather than spending years on short term contracts. Other federal employers have adopted policies addressing such concerns. The CRA refused to address this issue.

Work-life balance: We proposed improvements to work-life balance, including an increase in paid leave, consistent with the government’s claimed commitment to work-life balance. The CRA said no to our proposal.

Conditions in call centres: We proposed improved working conditions in call centres, including more rest breaks and more reasonable, reduced monitoring of employees by management. The CRA said no to our proposal.

Scheduling and hours of work: We proposed changes including making evening shifts voluntary and recognizing years of service where there is evening and weekend work. The Agency has repeatedly approached PSAC-UTE to discuss increasing evening shifts and a joint union-employer study found evidence of favouritism and inconsistent practices in CRA workplaces with evening and weekend shifts. The CRA said no to our proposal and instead proposed language that could result in employees being scheduled by management to work outside core hours against their wishes.
We believe the years of service that an employee gives to the Agency should count for something. Unfortunately, the Agency does not, and insists instead that employees would prefer management deciding whether or not they work evenings and weekends in certain workplaces.

The PSAC-UTE bargaining team is committed to achieving a fair contract—one that protects hard-fought gains and secures new rights and protections for PSAC-UTE members.

Be sure to go to ute-sei.org and psacunion.ca for more information and to subscribe for regular updates. Should you have any questions, please contact your UTE Local President.

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CRA bargaining: Mediation begins, limited progress achieved – April 5, 2019

The PSAC-Union of Taxation Employees (PSAC-UTE) bargaining team representing members at the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) held talks with the employer between April 2 and 4.  The session was held at the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board in Ottawa in the presence of a federal mediator.

Key issues for this round of bargaining, such as excessive term employment and hours of work, remain unresolved. Moreover, the union has still not received a response to the wage proposal. This is disappointing, and PSAC-UTE believes Treasury Board interference in the bargaining approach taken by CRA management is an obstacle to making significant progress at the table.

Nevertheless, the bargaining team did achieve limited progress on some other issues at this week’s meetings and agreed to hold another session with the mediator between May 6 and 9.

PSAC-UTE remains committed to advancing the following priorities through the mediation process:

  • Protections against excessive term employment, along with more permanent jobs and income security.
  • Protections against the expansion of shift work, as well as new rights for employees scheduled to work evenings.
  • Increased work-life balance, with an emphasis on improved access to leave.
  • Improved conditions for call centre workers, including scheduling rights and better protections.
  • Union rights in the workplace, consistent with what other federal employers have agreed to.
  • Fair wage increases that minimally keep up with inflation. 

The bargaining team appreciates the support it has received from the membership throughout this process and encourages members to continue showing visible support for the union and bargaining proposals in the workplace.

Updates will be provided as things evolve. In the meantime, be sure to go to ute-sei.org and psacunion.ca to see what PSAC-UTE has proposed, for more information, and to subscribe to regular updates. Also, should you have any questions, please contact your UTE Local President.

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Federal mediator to convene PSAC-UTE and CRA in early April – March 6, 2019

A federal mediator appointed by the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board has announced that mediation between PSAC-Union of Taxation Employees (PSAC-UTE) and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has been scheduled for April 2-4 in Ottawa.

The forthcoming mediation session follows many frustrating months of stalled negotiations between the union and CRA, during which the employer did not meaningfully address members’ concerns and instead pushed for concessions. As a result, PSAC-UTE declared bargaining impasse in January and asked the Labour Board to establish a Public Interest Commission (PIC).

In late February, the Labour Board named a mediator for the dispute and asked both parties to return to the bargaining table with the mediator’s assistance. The Board also  indicated that the establishment of a PIC will be delayed to allow mediation to proceed.

The PSAC-UTE bargaining team remains committed to negotiating a new collective agreement that addresses members’ concerns and ensures fair wage increases.

Updates will be provided as things evolve. In the meantime, be sure to go to ute-sei.org and psacunion.ca to see what PSAC-UTE has proposed, for more information, and to subscribe to regular updates. Also, should you have any questions, please contact your UTE Local President.

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The Labour Board has appointed a mediator in PSAC-UTE’s contract dispute with the CRA – February 28, 2019

On February 27, the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board named a federal mediator to assist in talks between the PSAC-Union of Taxation Employees (PSAC-UTE) and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The Board’s decision follows PSAC-UTE’s declaration of bargaining impasse in January, after many frustrating months of stalled negotiations.

The PSAC-UTE bargaining team is now in the process of reaching out to the mediator to set dates for the next bargaining session.

The Board also declared that the creation of a Public Interest Commision will be delayed in order to give the parties an opportunity to return to the bargaining table with the assistance of the mediator.

Since bargaining began eight months ago, the union has made it clear that key member priorities for the next contract are:

  • Protections against excessive term employment, along with more permanent jobs and income security.
  • Protections against the expansion of shift work, as well as new rights for employees scheduled to work evenings.
  • Increased work-life balance, with an emphasis on improved access to leave.
  • Improved conditions for call centre workers, including scheduling rights and better protections.
  • Union rights in the workplace, consistent with what other federal employers have agreed to.
  • Fair wage increases that minimally keep up with inflation. 

Unfortunately, over many months of talks, the CRA remained unwilling to meaningfully address the above concerns, and instead pushed for concessions.

Updates will be provided as things evolve. In the meantime, be sure to go to ute-sei.org and psacunion.ca to see what PSAC-UTE has proposed, for more information, and to subscribe to regular updates. Also, should you have any questions, please contact your UTE Local President.

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PSAC-UTE filed for a Public Interest Commission in January – February 4, 2019

At the end of the last bargaining session with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) the PSAC/UTE bargaining team declared impasse and filed for the creation of a Public Interest Commission with the Public Service Labour Relations Board.

Bargaining commenced with the Agency in June of last year. At the outset of negotiations, and in every session since, the union made clear to the CRA the key priorities for this round of negotiations:

  • Protections against excessive term employment, along with more permanent jobs and income security.
  • Protections against the expansion of shift work, as well as new rights for employees scheduled to work evenings.
  • Increased work-life balance, with an emphasis on improved access to leave.
  • Improved conditions for call centre workers, including scheduling rights and better protections.
  • Union rights in the workplace, consistent with what other federal employers have agreed to.

The bargaining team reiterated these priorities again during the January 2019 bargaining session.

PSAC-UTE also tabled a wage proposal in early December that would ensure fair increases that keep up with the cost of living. However, the CRA stated that it would not table a wage position at the January bargaining session.

The union agreed to meet with the CRA all the same in attempt to resolve the other key non-wage priorities listed above. Despite the fact that other federal employers have agreed to improvements in almost all of these key areas since the last contract with CRA was settled in 2016, the CRA provided zero indication that it would address these issues over the last seven months of negotiations.

For example, even though there are term employees who have worked for many years at the CRA without ever being made permanent, the CRA has said that it will not discuss the matter. Meanwhile, throughout all bargaining sessions, the CRA has continued to insist that the union give up worker rights that have existed in the collective agreement for decades.

The bargaining team is looking for improvements in this round of negotiations, not steps backwards.

Given this lack of flexibility on the part of the CRA, PSAC/UTE filed for impasse with the Labour Board. Bargaining began seven months ago and the union believes it’s time to proceed to the next step in the process. PSAC-UTE awaits news from the Labour Board.

Be sure to go to ute-sei.org and psacunion.ca to see what PSAC-UTE has proposed, for more information, and to subscribe to regular updates. Also, should you have any questions, please contact your UTE Local President.

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CRA fails to respond to union wage proposal and other key concerns; continues to insist on concessions – January 25, 2019

The PSAC-Union of Taxation Employees (PSAC-UTE) bargaining team met with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on January 21-24 to continue negotiations for a new collective agreement.

The team tabled a wage proposal two months ago that would ensure fair increases that keep up with the rising cost of living. However, the CRA opted not to make a wage counterproposal this week, and told the bargaining team it had no mandate to table anything beyond what was offered by Treasury Board in bargaining with PSAC.

Since the outset of bargaining, moreover, the PSAC-UTE bargaining team identified key issues that needed to be resolved in this round, including: evening & shift work, excessive term employment, work/life balance in call centres and job security. No serious progress has been made on any these issues, despite the fact that other federal employers have agreed to improvements in almost all of these areas since PSAC-UTE settled the last contract with CRA.

Negotiations began last June, and since then, little of substance has been accomplished, while the CRA continues to ask us for concessions.

In bargaining, the union provided the CRA with numerous examples of problems, from employees being forced to work evenings and nights to term employees spending years working for CRA and never being offered the opportunity to achieve permanency, while new hires get permanent jobs. The CRA has responded with either outright rejection of the solutions we proposed or, in some cases, it countered with proposals to make things worse. For example, it tabled a proposal that would give management the ability to schedule employees for even longer hours against their will.

On term employment, the lack of permanent jobs and other staffing concerns, the CRA won’t even discuss these at the table. As for call centres, the CRA’s proposals would not provide for significant improvements for members.

PSAC-UTE is determined to achieve a fair contract, one that protects hard fought gains and provides new rights and protections to members. PSAC-UTE members deserve to be treated with respect.

Given this lack of progress in negotiations, PSAC-UTE is declaring impasse and moving to the next step in the bargaining process prescribed by law—the establishment of a Public Interest Commission.

Under the Federal Public Service Labour Relations and Employment Act, either party may ask for the establishment of a Public Interest Commission (PIC) in the event that the parties reach impasse and are unable to reach an agreement. A PIC consists of a Chair named by the Labour Board and one representative from each side (union and employer). Once the Commission is created, its representatives set dates for a hearing in which both parties submit arguments and documentation in support of their respective positions. The PIC then issues a recommendation for settlement. The recommendation is non-binding. A PIC is not an arbitration board.

Be sure to go to www.ute-sei.org and www.psacunion.ca to see what PSAC-UTE has proposed, for more information, and to subscribe to regular updates. Also, should you have any questions, please contact your UTE Local President.

We will be sure to provide updates as things progress.

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CRA Bargaining: PSAC and UTE table wage proposals; agency fails to respond to member concerns – December 7, 2018

The PSAC/UTE bargaining team met with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on December 3-6 to continue negotiations for a new collective agreement. While there was considerable discussion on several matters of concern to our members, Agency representatives did not respond with meaningful counterproposals.

Click here to see the wage proposals we made to the agency.

The PSAC/UTE wage proposal aims to: (1) Achieve fair annual wage increases that exceed current inflationary trends; and (2) Introduce a market adjustment that would close the gap between CRA workers and their former co-workers at the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

The Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA) was a government agency that was split into the CRA and CBSA in December 2003. Over time, this led to vastly divergent pay for workers doing similar work in each organization. PSAC/UTE believes CRA workers deserve to be compensated fairly. Agency representatives committed to providing a response to the union wage proposal at the next bargaining session in January.

Key concerns still not addressed 

The PSAC/UTE bargaining team also reiterated previously tabled priorities for this round of bargaining:

  • Increased work-life balance, with an emphasis on improved access to leave.
  • Improved conditions for call centre workers, including scheduling rights and better protections.
  • Protections against excessive term employment, along with more permanency and job security.
  • Protections against the expansion of shift work, as well as new rights for employees scheduled to work evenings.
  • Union rights in the workplace, consistent with what other federal employers have agreed to.

While there was some constructive discussion around call centres and family-related leave, the CRA ultimately provided little of substance in response to the bargaining team’s various proposals. The only progress made during this session pertained to some ‘housekeeping’ matters.

The bargaining team is scheduled to return to the table the week of January 21. PSAC and UTE are calling on the CRA to return to the table in January ready to address these key concerns for our members.

Be sure to go to ute-sei.org and psacunion.ca for more information and to subscribe for regular updates. Should you have any questions, please contact your UTE Local President.

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CRA Bargaining: PSAC and UTE push for job security and new protections – October 26, 2018

The PSAC/UTE bargaining team met with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on October 23-25 to continue negotiations for a new collective agreement. While the team raised a number of key issues like job security, scheduling protections, and improving working conditions in call centres, the employer did not move to resolve them.

Job Security

The team tabled proposals concerning the Workforce Adjustment Appendix (WFA) in our collective agreement. Our WFA proposals would enhance job and income security for employees, and would ensure greater options for any employees that are declared surplus in the future. The team also proposed changes that would minimize favouritism and provide for recognition of employees’ years of service with the Agency.

Hours of Work

Presently, CRA employees fill thousands of evening shifts, with new requests for evening and/or weekend work being submitted to the Union by the Agency on a monthly basis. Moreover, the employer indicated in bargaining that as a result of service renewal, they are interested in increasing evening shifts. In response, the bargaining team made it clear to management that the collective agreement must include new protections around the scheduling and assigning of hours of work.

Call Centres

The team had considerable discussion concerning the terrible working conditions in CRA call centres across the country, and the need for new rights for those working in those centres.

The bargaining team is scheduled to return to the table the first week of December. PSAC and UTE are calling on the CRA to return to the table in December ready to address these key issues.

Be sure to go to ute-sei.org and psacunion.ca for more information and to subscribe for regular updates. Should you have any questions, please contact your UTE Local President.

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PSAC Dental Plan Arbitration – October 2nd, 2018

After lengthy negotiations and an arbitration process, PSAC has won a major victory for the Public Service Dental Care Plan, which will result in substantial improvements for your coverage.

“The government dragged this process out by trying to get us to accept reduced coverage for our members,” said Chris Aylward, National President of the Public Service Alliance of Canada. “But our position has always been that our members deserve better, and I’m very pleased that the arbitration panel agreed with us.”

The major highlight is a 47% increase to the annual maximum for routine and major services. The current maximum of $1,700 per year will gradually increase to $2,500 per year as follows:

  • $2,000 per year starting on January 1, 2019;
  • $2,250 per year starting on January 1, 2020; and
  • $2,500 per year starting on January 1, 2021.

Additionally, as of January 1, 2019, the following changes will be made:

  • Dental implants will be covered. Implants had been partially covered by deeming them to be another procedure (i.e. bridge or denture). This would often lead to gaps in (or problems with) coverage. They are now covered in their own right.
  • Coverage for replacement fillings for children will be possible 12 months after the initial filling was done (instead of 24).
  • Congenitally missing teeth will be covered until age 21 (up from 19).
  • Coverage during suspensions is improved.
  • An allowable break in service to become eligible for the plan is extended from 5 to 7 days. Ability to have coverage for extra scaling approved retroactively. Currently, this may only be approved going forward.

The full text of the new dental plan will be posted online in the near future.

The government made a large number of proposals to the arbitration panel that sought to weaken the dental plan. Very few of them were accepted and the ones that were accepted are small and have a very minor impact on plan members. These are:

  • Charges for oral hygiene instructions will now be limited to once per lifetime per adult (and remain once per year for children).
  • Coverage is eliminated for minor issues such as:
    • The assistance of a second oral surgeon.
    • Dental professional peer consultation.
    • Trauma control if done at the same time as treatment for caries or pain control.
    • Enlargement of the canal or pulp chamber as a part of dental treatment separate from doing a root canal.

Any other proposals that are not mentioned above will remain status quo without change.

For further details please visit the PSAC National Website.

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UTE Bargaining Update – September 11-13th, 2018

Our PSAC/UTE Bargaining Team met with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on September 11-13 to continue negotiations for a new collective agreement. While some matters were resolved with respect to leave without pay and leave for staffing processes, the CRA spent considerable time focusing on employer proposals.

We again pointed out to the Agency that we are interested in improvements for PSAC/UTE members at CRA, and will not take steps backwards. With respect to our key issues, we again reiterated that the following matters need to be resolved:

  1. Precarious work: CRA has one of the worst track records in the public service when it comes to term and student employment.
  2. Hours of work: Issues have arisen around hours of work, with employees being increasingly scheduled for evening work.
  3. Call centres: Many problems that require resolving within call centres.
  4. Work-life balance: Staffing issues and increased work-life balance.

We will be tabling wage proposals at a future date, once we have had the opportunity to fully discuss our non-economic proposals and have employer payroll data. We are scheduled to resume negotiations October 22nd. We’ll be sure to provide updates as we progress.

As always, membership solidarity and support are the key to us achieving a fair contract. Together, we can make CRA a better place to work.

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UTE Bargaining Update – June 21, 2018 & July 6, 2018

Our PSAC/UTE Bargaining Team met with the CRA on June 20th and 21st to commence negotiations for a new collective agreement (as our current agreement expired on October 31, 2016). Our Team made clear to the agency that, while the union is ready to negotiate in good faith, we are not interested in steps backwards for our members and are looking to achieve improvements in this round of bargaining.

We exchanged our non-wage-related proposals with the Agency. A copy of our proposals and those of the employer can be found here. We will be tabling wage proposals at a future date once we have received and analyzed employer payroll data. Some of the highlights of our proposals of particular interest to the Hamilton local include:

  • Employees in Call Centers who are required to staff the telephone lines be entitled to additional rest periods of 5 minutes per hour.
  • Employees working in a temporary position for three (3) years, or in concurrent temporary positions for three (3) years, shall be offered a permanent position. The hours associated with the position shall be consistent with the hours of the temporary position held at the time of conversion.

We held further negotiations from July 3rd to 5th. Topics discussed included:

  • Increasing work-life balance for our members.
  • Vacation scheduling
  • Poor working conditions in call centres
  • Excessive term employment
  • Evening and shift work

Further negotiations are now scheduled for September. We’ll be sure to provide updates as we progress. As always, membership solidarity and support are the key to us achieving a fair contract. Together we can make CRA a better place to work.

Be sure to go to www.ute-sei.org and www.psacunion.ca for more information and to subscribe for regular updates. Also, should you have any questions please contact your UTE Local President.