OTTAWA - The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) has negotiated a tentative agreement with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), as the union entered its sixth week of strike action.
"The tentative agreement provides significant improvements for term workers who make up almost a quarter of the Agency's workers," says PSAC National President Nycole Turmel. Without strike action by our members, we would not have been able to move the employer and to negotiate these improvements."
"The Agency has agreed to allow recurring term workers to retain accumulated sick leave credits if they are re-hired within a year," indicates Turmel. "This is a breakthrough provision that will help stop term workers from being penalized if they become ill. In addition, we have negotiated improved provisions for terms who take maternity and parental leave."
According to Union of Taxation Employees President Betty Bannon, CRA has provided the union with an action plan to follow-up on the recommendations of the joint study into term employment which was conducted after the last round of negotiations. "This study took a serious look at many aspects of the working conditions of our term members, but the Agency has been reluctant to implement any of the recommendations."
"Under the action plan, the Agency is committing to convert at least 25% of the 1,100 term workers who have over three years of continuous service to indeterminate status," says Bannon. "The conversion will provide new job security for approximately 275 workers."
"The Agency has also committed to analysing the potential for giving recurring term workers seasonal indeterminate status, which would have a significant impact on their benefit entitlements," says Customs Excise Union Douanes Accise President Ron Moran.
The tentative agreement includes the following, among other negotiated changes.
- A four-year agreement effective to October 31, 2007.
- Annual economic increases of 2.5% retroactive to November 1, 2003, 2.25% effective November 1, 2004, 2.4% effective November 1, 2005 and 2.5% effective November 1, 2006.
- Recognition in the collective agreement that Part II of the Canada Labour Code governs health and safety matters at the Agency.
- Removal of the caps on the amount of family related leave that can be taken for a particular purpose.
- Five days of marriage leave for workers who participate in same-sex public commitment ceremonies.
PSAC members at the Agency will have an opportunity to vote on the tentative agreement. Dates for the ratification process have yet to be announced. The union represents 25,000 workers at CRA whose collective agreement expired on October 31, 2003. Strike action began on September 8th.
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Louise Laporte, PSAC Communications (613) 560-4287 or (613) 558-4975 (cell)
Betty Bannon, National President, Union of Taxation Employees (613) 266-5956 (cell)
Ron Moran, National President, Customs and Excise Union Douanes Accise (613) 677-1090 (cell)