The Public Interest Commission (PIC) has released recommendations for a settlement in contract negotiations between PSAC-UTE (Union of Taxation Employees) and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The Commission sides with several union proposals through the following recommendations:
- The wage disparity with our co-workers in the Audit, Financial and Scientific (AFS) group should be addressed; management cannot simply offer us the wage pattern achieved by the PA group under Treasury Board for the 2016-18 period.
- Management may have to move on “one or more of the issues” related to working conditions in call centres raised by the union in order to reach a settlement.
- Improved definitions of “family” and “travelling time” should be adopted.
- There is no good reason for management to oppose seniority recognition for scheduling evening and weekend work.
- The cost of medical certificates management requests from employees should be reimbursed.
- Access by union officials to CRA facilities should not be unreasonably withheld.
The PIC did not address our proposal to allow term employees the opportunity to gain indeterminate status rather than spending years on short term contracts, as this matter technically falls outside of the Commission’s purview. However, the union remains committed to pushing this key member concern forward in any forthcoming bargaining sessions and directly with the CRA Commissioner.
Front-line workers deserve a fair contract
Throughout the current COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of PSAC-UTE members across Canada have been on the front lines of the government’s initiatives, working day and night from their homes—often while also juggling family obligations—to provide rapid financial support to the public on a massive scale. The union has worked cooperatively with management in this time to address any staffing concerns and to ensure new programs were launched successfully and on time.
Yet, we have not had a new contract since November 2016 and the last time we received a wage increase was all the way back in November 2015. This is unacceptable. The CRA must not waste any time in reaching a fair contract with our hard-working members.
A meeting of our national strategy committee—including both PSAC National President Chris Aylward and UTE National President Marc Brière—is scheduled for May 4 to discuss next steps and we will follow-up with communication to the members.