CRA bargaining: We got a settlement, but don’t recommend it. Here’s why.

On Wednesday night our UTE/PSAC bargaining team signed a settlement with the Canada Revenue Agency. We did so because we believe that this is the best that our union is going to be able to achieve without receiving a strike mandate from UTE members at CRA. The team feels that it’s time that the membership have the opportunity to vote.

The settlement would improve our members’ working conditions in several ways. These improvements are the product of the hard work of our team and the membership over the course of this round of bargaining.

Not enough

But in our opinion, the settlement does not contain a tradeoff for our severance that is comparable to what thousands of other public service workers were able to obtain. There is no market adjustment, no annual allowance and no additional ongoing compensation for severance above and beyond the basic annual increases. This is despite that fact that the most recent federal budget provided the CRA with hundreds of millions of new dollars.

What’s more, the settlement contains a “me-too” provision that effectively links our wage increases for two years to what will be negotiated for the PA group at Treasury Board. We have always negotiated the wage rates for PSAC-UTE members at CRA. This is a significant departure from this process.

It is for these reasons that, while we have signed the settlement so that the membership may vote on it, our bargaining team and the national leadership of UTE are not recommending it.

You deserve better

In the coming weeks we will provide more detailed information about how and when to vote. We encourage all union members to exercise their right to vote.

The ballot will provide two choices: a vote either in favour of the settlement, or a vote against the settlement which would provide the union with the mandate to call a strike if necessary.

Should the settlement be ratified, it would then become our new contract. Should the membership not accept this offer, our bargaining team’s position would be greatly strengthened.

More information will be forthcoming in the days and weeks ahead.  






April 28, 2016