Our bargaining team was very surprised – to say the least – to see CRA’s email to all staff 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.