PSAC seeking legal advice over CRA telework changes

May 13, 2022

The PSAC-UTE bargaining team is seeking legal counsel about Canada Revenue Agency’s telework plans following the latest bargaining session, May 10-12.

The PSAC-UTE bargaining team has been trying to enshrine telework protections in the collective agreement and we have made it clear we believe CRA cannot make changes around telework without the union’s consent.

CRA recently notified the union they will likely introduce a plan that includes management being able to unilaterally require certain employees to return to the office starting this fall. Our union has not agreed to this plan.

Under the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act, once PSAC has served notice to begin negotiations, all matters subject to negotiation are frozen until a new collective agreement is adopted. Our legal counsel’s position is that our current terms and conditions are frozen, unless the union consents to changes CRA wishes to make.

Consequently, our team put the employer on notice that PSAC-UTE will follow up with legal counsel about taking the CRA before the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board should changes be made without the union’s consent.

Protecting telework in the collective agreement

CRA representatives prefer to maintain a telework policy outside of the collective agreement, but we told CRA this is unacceptable and that our team is looking for language in our new contract concerning access to telework.

Other federal employers have negotiated with PSAC on this issue, and we expect CRA to do the same. 

Other key issues

Our team also raised proposals around new rights for part-time employees – including access to more pensionable hours via seniority recognition – along with the importance of protecting our jobs against contracting out.

We return to the table in mid-July and plan to table our economic proposals at that time.

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