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.
Updates will be provided as things evolve.