The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and the Union of Taxation Employees (UTE) are launching nationwide strike votes for more than 35,000 workers at Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) after talks broke down over wages and remote work.
Strike votes will be conducted from January 31 to April 7, 2023. Workers at CRA have been without a contract for more than a year, and the union declared impasse in September.
“Workers’ wages have stalled while the cost of living has continued to rise, and everyone is feeling the strain,” said Chris Aylward, PSAC national president. “We’ve been clear negotiating wages that keep up with inflation and a sensible remote work policy are critical to reach a deal, but the Agency has refused to respond to our wage offer and still has major concessions on the table. Workers can’t wait any longer.”
While strike votes are underway, PSAC-UTE and Canada Revenue Agency will proceed to Public Interest Commission (PIC) hearings January 27 and February 20 with the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board, with their non-binding recommendations to reaching an agreement expected this spring.
After the Commission issues its report, PSAC-UTE will be in a legal strike position if members vote in favour of a strike mandate.
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“When Canadians needed us most during the pandemic, we delivered – processing nearly 30 million CERB applications and providing historic financial relief to millions of people hardest hit by COVID-19,” said Marc Brière, UTE national president.
“But Canada Revenue Agency has shown a complete lack of respect for workers at the bargaining table, and a strong strike mandate is the best way to ramp up pressure to reach a fair contract for our members.”
The Public Service Alliance of Canada represents more than 165,000 federal public service workers at impasse in negotiations with the federal government moving towards job action to secure a contract that protects workers from the rising cost of living, offers better work-life balance and ends the contracting out of public service jobs.