Sisters, Brothers and Friends,
As you are aware, the Union of Taxation Employees (UTE), at the National level, has engaged in a series of consultations with Headquarters representatives of the employer over the last several months with respect to the issue of Hours of Work in the employer’s Assessment, Benefit and Services Branch (ABSB) Call Centres. More specifically, UTE has opposed the matters of the employer’s unilateral assignment of hours of work (including extended hours), the scheduling of work on Saturdays, the decision of the employer to schedule Day Workers to Shift Work, and issues of compensation surrounding these matters. Throughout these consultations, UTE was committed to protecting the rights of our members and ensuring compliance with the collective agreement.
I am pleased to report that, pursuant to these consultations, the parties have reached an agreement in principle which effectively addresses our concerns and allows the employer, within the confines of the collective agreement, to schedule hours of work to meet their operational needs. More specifically, the parties have agreed that the most effective instrument to address each of our issues and concerns are the provisions of clause 25.23 of the collective agreement with respect to Variable Shift Schedule Arrangements (VSSA).
To conclude our discussions in this matter and execute the terms of our agreement in principle, the parties have agreed to the creation of a joint task force to review and analyse the issues surrounding the implementation of VSSA, including but not limited to, the provisions of the collective agreement, employee preferences, the operational needs of the employer with respect to call volumes, service requirements and extended hours, and other such matters. The parties have also agreed that we would also collaborate in the creation of guidelines for the implementation and administration of the VSSA provisions of the collective agreement.
Even though the clause pertaining to VSSA schedules have been in the collective agreement for some time, they have not been applied to our members previously and it will take some time to identify all of the issues and details concerning this matter before implementation. The parties have committed to addressing this matter as a priority and will be earnestly dealing with this matter over the coming months.
We will keep you apprised as this matter progresses.
Union of Taxation Employees