March 04, 2023: After more than a year and a half of intense bargaining and one of the largest strikes in Canadian history, a tentative agreement has finally been reached between the Public Service Alliance of Canada-Union of Taxation Employees (PSAC-UTE) and the Canadian government.
The agreement affects over 35,000 Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) workers who provide critical services to Canadians. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the details of the tentative agreement and what it means for both employees and the general public.
CRA Workers will be returning to work starting May 4, 2023 by 11:30 am E.T. at the latest, the Union also encouraged the workers to start early in case they are scheduled to work early.
On May 1, 2023, The Federal Government and 120,000 Treasury Board employees reached an agreement with the terms somewhat similar to the tentative agreement CRA Employees reached with the Government.
PSAC Strike Update: What does this agreement look like?
Click to skip to any part of the tentative agreement:
|Key Points||Tentative Agreement Details|
|Wage Increases||12.6% compounded wage increase from 2021–2024; $2,500 one-time pensionable lump sum payment for all members|
|Improved Telework Language||Individual assessment of remote work requests; joint committee to review and update telework policy|
|Hours of Work||Option for employees to start work as early as 6 a.m.|
|Leave Improvements||Increased shift premiums; improved vacation accrual; better access to family-related responsibility and bereavement leave|
|Inclusive Workplaces||Integration of PSAC-TBS joint committee recommendations on employment equity, diversity, and inclusion training; paid leave for Indigenous employees to engage in traditional practices|
|Protections Against Contracting Out||Priority given to PSAC-UTE members over outside contractors in the event of layoffs|
|Seniority and Workforce Adjustment||Joint proposal to include seniority rights in the Workforce Adjustment process|
According to the latest announcement from PSAC-UTE, the tentative agreement includes a wage increase totaling 12.6% compounded over the life of the agreement from 2021–2024. This exceeds the employer’s original offer before the launch of the strike action and provides wage increases above those negotiated by other federal bargaining agents. Additionally, a pensionable one-time lump sum payment of $2,500 will be applicable to all members of the bargaining unit employed at the time of signing the agreement.
Improved Telework Language
The agreement includes new language related to remote work, protecting employees from arbitrary decisions about telework arrangements. Managers will now be required to assess remote work requests individually, provide written responses, and allow members and PSAC-UTE to hold the employer accountable for equitable and fair decision-making regarding remote work. The agreement also establishes a joint committee to review and update the telework policy last updated in 2020.
Hours of Work and Leave Improvements
To improve work-life balance, employees can now request the ability to start work as early as 6 a.m., and such requests cannot be unreasonably denied. The tentative agreement also includes increased shift premiums, improved vacation accrual, and better access to family-related responsibility leave and bereavement leave.
Safer and More Inclusive Workplaces
The agreement ensures that the CRA will review, share, and encourage the integration of recommendations from the PSAC and Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) joint committee, which focuses on employment equity, diversity, and inclusion training. Additionally, the agreement introduces paid leave for Indigenous employees to engage in traditional Indigenous practices, promoting a more diverse and inclusive workforce.
Protections Against Contracting Out
The PSAC-UTE bargaining team negotiated language to prioritize PSAC-UTE members over outside contractors in the event of layoffs. This new language aims to protect union members’ jobs and reduce contracting out in the federal public service.
Seniority and Workforce Adjustment
PSAC-UTE and the employer have agreed to submit a joint proposal to the Public Service Commission of Canada to include seniority rights in the Workforce Adjustment process, offering further protection to employees.
The tentative agreement between PSAC-UTE and the Canadian government marks a significant milestone in the long-standing dispute over fair wages and better working conditions for CRA employees.
As a result of the agreement, the strike has ended, and employees are required to return to work, ensuring the continued delivery of critical services to Canadians. The PSAC-UTE bargaining team unanimously recommends this agreement, which will be presented to members for ratification in the coming days.