Our Accomplishments

Our Accomplishments

As the largest component union of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, UTE officers and members have consistently been in the forefront to advance the interests of all federal public service workers.  We have proudly participated in many actions and enjoyed many accomplishments with our PSAC “sisters and brothers”.

The UTE can trace its direct roots back to 1943, when employees of the then-Taxation Department organized themselves into the Dominion Income Tax Staff Association. 

True federal public service unions were formed barely a generation ago, with the legislating in the mid-1960s of limited free collective bargaining.  Until that time, federal workers were entirely dependent on the goodwill of the employer and the politicians for their well-being.  There was no grievance system, no appeal process, no right to negotiate and no protection from discrimination, favouritism or harassment.

Gains in a number of major areas are highlighted below.

  • A Joint National Union-Management Consultation Committee was formed within the Canada Revenue Agency. Main agenda items deal with matters and problems that affect the Agency and UTE members on a national basis.Unresolved problems from the regional and local levels can also be brought forward to this national committee.

  • UTE developed a bargaining demand collection process so members and locals can send us their demands between bargaining rounds. In 2007, UTE made history by negotiating a new collective agreement prior to the expiry date of the previous one.The impacts of this achievement are all on the side of the members who benefit from the changes to the new collective agreement, as of the date of the agreement. The UTE repeated this achievement for a second time in 2010.The new SP classification standard is in place.This classification standard is no longer gender biased.

  • Staffing was, and still is non-negotiable within the federal public service.The UTE has advocated long and hard to have this prohibition removed from the legislation establishing the Canada Revenue Agency. Unfortunately, the employer has become accustomed to playing with a stacked deck, especially when it alone can change the rules of the game whenever it wishes. Nevertheless, the UTE some years ago formed a Staffing Committee to act as the members’ advocate on staffing issues with the employer.The Committee’s persistence and dogged work has succeeded in having a significant impact on many employer staffing initiatives.Some UTE achievements:

    • the elimination of quotas used in the Performance Review process,

    • reclassification of 700 CR04 Collections Clerks to PM01 Collection officers,

    • the creation of joint union/management committees to deal with problematic issues surrounding Term Rehire, educational requirements and performance management.

  • The UTE has its own Work Force Adjustment Committee, established as a watchdog over employer attempts to cut staff or move workloads that impact our members. Not all UTE members escaped the slash and burn policies of successive Conservative and Liberal governments.As an example, the WFA Committee was successful in having a staff reductions exercise at the Ottawa Taxation Centre (now Ottawa Technology Centre) declared a work force adjustment situation.In this way, the affected employees came under the provisions of the Work Force Adjustment Directive and received its protections and rights, rather than being subjected to the unfettered discretion of managers.

  • Union-management consultation on equity issues is also a priority.Ongoing meetings are held with management’s National Employment Equity Co-ordinator and the Assistant Commissioner of Human Resources to discuss issues such as Employment Equity Action Plans, Employment Equity Strategic Direction, Workforce Analysis Results, awareness training on equity issues, special programs for members from designated groups and any issues that are barriers to the promotion of equal opportunities.

  • Unbelievable as it may now seem workplace health and safety matters were determined by arbitrary employer policies until the mid-1980s.There were no mechanisms to ensure that policies were enforced.Only in 1986, after a major three-year PSAC campaign, were federal public service workers included under the Canada Labour Code’s health and safety provisions. The National Health and Safety Policy Committee revised emergency procedures, created awareness campaigns for scents, created communication guidelines regarding situation where asbestos has been identified, created an Agency policy against abuse, threats, stalking and assaults by persons outside CRA and convinced the Agency of the importance of AED’s in all workplaces.

  • The Technological Change Committee was successful in ensuring that more advance notice would be given prior to technological changes being implement and ensuring that UTE would be advised as soon as technological change pilot projects were being set up.

  • The UTE Harassment Committee has been successful in documenting factual workplace incidents and raising the profile of the issue throughout the union.The information was valuable in presenting UTE’s position with the employer during consultation on a new Agency Harassment Policy.The employer and the UTE presented the resulting harassment awareness sessions, developed by the joint national working group, to employees across the country.

  • The Well-Being committee identifies emerging EAP issues of concern to union members and recommends action as necessary.