As you are aware, since the CRA was delegated by the current Government the responsibility for administering the Emergency Benefits, the Union of Taxation Employees has collaborated closely with the employer in order to assist them in recruiting and encouraging our members occupying other positions to volunteer to perform duties related to the Emergency Benefits. As new workloads were created by the employer related to this function, we continued to consult meaningfully and collectively found positive and reasonable solutions to their need to redeploy additional employees.
Throughout all of these consultations, as stated earlier, we agreed to encourage our members to volunteer to work outside of their work descriptions and to take on functions unrelated to their position. In order to ease the administration normally required to move employees from one position to another, we agreed that on this interim basis, employees would not need to be provided with revised work descriptions and would not have to be deployed by means of a temporary lateral move. From the outset, however, we were adamant in our position that we would not accept forced or involuntary deployments or reassignments.
Recently, we were provided with the most recent version of the employer’s Strategic Business Resumption Plan and have held multiple consultations with various senior representatives of the CRA concerning this revised Plan. Again, we advised that we were amenable to working with them to encourage our members to volunteer to be reassigned, but remained firm in our position that we would not accept forced or involuntary deployments or reassignments of our members.
During our consultations, we explained to the employer that its own Staffing Program, does not allow for forced reassignments and that to move employees from one position to another, even on a voluntary basis, needed to be done through a staffing vehicle, such as a Temporary Lateral Move. Moreover, the collective agreement between the parties provides our members with the right to a complete and accurate statement of duties.
Despite our protestations, the employer has summarily dismissed our concerns and the advocating of our members rights and has indicated in its latest reversion of their Strategic Business Resumption Plan that while volunteers would be sought in some workloads, they will still be utilizing forced reassignments in others.
Notwithstanding the employer’s rigid position and its breach of the collective agreement and its own Staffing Plan, UTE is still asking our members to assist the Agency and indeed, the Canadian public, by giving serious consideration to volunteering to temporary lateral moves to the necessary workloads.
Having said this, UTE will not agree to the abrogation of our member’s rights and suggests that if members do not agree to their forced reassignment, contact their Local Union representative to challenge the employer’s forced deployment.
We suggest that if a Local Union representative is approached by members who are adversely affected by this forced reassignment, they have the member take the following actions:
- The member should request in writing that the additional duties assigned be added to their current work description and that the work description be sent for point rating and classification;
- The member should file a grievance contesting their forced reassignment;
- The member should request Staffing Recourse against the forced or involuntary reassignment, arguing that it is an involuntary Temporary Lateral Move.
The National Office of the Union of Taxation Employees will also be examining other measures to challenge this arbitrary measure by the employer. Rest assured, UTE will do all in its power to protect our member’s rights!
UTE National President