TO: Executive Council
Alternate Regional Vice Presidents
RE: Collective Bargaining
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
The following statement concerning the upcoming budget was announced yesterday with respect to proposed changes to the legislation affecting the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA):
“Division 24 of Part 4 amends the Canada Revenue Agency Act to make section 112 of the Public Service Labour Relations Act applicable to the Canada Revenue Agency. That section makes entering into a collective agreement subject to the Governor in Council’s approval. The Division also amends the Canada Revenue Agency Act to require that the Agency have its negotiating mandate approved by the President of the Treasury Board and to require that it consult the President of the Treasury Board before determining certain other terms and conditions of employment for its employees.”
The Union of Taxation Employees (UTE) is very disappointed in this proposal and even more so, angered by the fact that this announcement was made without UTE being consulted or even advised of this direction. We are surprised and shocked that the government of the day wants to turn back time and draw us back into the fold of negotiations with the other Treasury Board units.
The CRA was created in 1999 as a separate employer, and the Commissioner at the time touted the uniqueness of our work and culture and the need for independence as compelling reasons for the creation of the Canada Revenue Agency as a separate employer. Over time, the CRA and UTE have worked very hard to develop a harmonious working relationship that has allowed us to negotiate two consecutive collective agreements prior to the expiry of the existing contracts. This was unheard of in the Public Service and shows that both sides were intent on working together “to improve the quality of the Public Service of Canada and to promote the well-being and increased efficiency of its employees to the end that the people of Canada will be well and efficiently served” as contemplated in clause 1.02 of the collective agreement between the parties. This move to put the CRA back under the thumb of Treasury Board makes no sense, especially as we are in bargaining at is time and contradicts some of the specific reasons for why the CRA was created and approved by Parliament. To roll back time to destroy what certainly shows is a better way of doing business for the people of Canada and creating a more beneficial labour relationship for the employer and its employees and bargaining agents is not a sound business practice and can only be viewed as controlling and dictatorial.
The Union of Taxation Employees will be contacting the government and the opposition parties in an effort to lobby them to rethink and/or oppose these changes and allow the CRA to continue as a separate employer, independent of the interference of the Treasury Board.
National President UTE