Hours of work and work-life balance were critical issues for the PSAC-UTE bargaining team during negotiations with Canada Revenue Agency, February 15-17. The team placed a strong emphasis on improved hours of work and remote work options for our members employed by CRA.
Our team has made proposals that would provide for better access to compressed work week options, provide enhanced notice when employees’ hours are changed, and ensure employees’ years of service count when decisions are made concerning evening work.
CRA eyes evening and weekend work
While CRA has not tabled its proposals concerning hours of work, they did indicate an interest in moving to a model with increased evening and weekend work. CRA also expressed an interest in introducing split shifts, meaning an employee could be required to work multiple shifts per day.
These concessions would have a major impact on the lives of PSAC-UTE members and contradict our team’s proposals to improve work-life balance. The current collective agreement gives our members the right to request flexible hours, and we intend to build on that.
We can already see the employer trying to implement these concessions in the workplace. Recently, we have received reports of the employer assigning our members Saturday shifts in violation of our collective agreement. Grievances are being filed and PSAC’s legal team is considering taking CRA before the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board.
Remote work and vacation leave
We also discussed our proposals concerning vacation leave, both in terms of increasing annual leave entitlements and a simplification of the process for vacation leave scheduling. Talks are ongoing on this issue.
Lastly, we discussed remote work arrangements with the employer. In light of the shift assignment violations we are seeing in the workplace, our bargaining team reminded CRA that they cannot unilaterally introduce changes to employees’ current remote work arrangements under the law while we are in negotiations.
Next steps and show your support
The team is scheduled to return to the bargaining table the last week of March.
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