Update: contracting out of jobs at the CRA

October 5, 2021

Sisters, Brothers and Friends,

The Union of Taxation Employees (UTE) has consistently opposed contracting out the work of federal public service workers, especially the work of members of the UTE.

Last February, the UTE protested the decision of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to award a contract to a private sector service provider to perform functions closely aligned with our Call Centre members to respond to general enquiries from Canadian taxpayers about federal emergency benefits. We expressed concerns about this decision, including the protection of taxpayers' personal information.

We have continually and consistently opposed this decision and advocated to the Minister of National Revenue, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier and to the Commissioner of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Mr. Bob Hamilton, that the cost of contracting out is higher and less efficient than using public service employees.

Through meaningful discussions, we were successful in securing the commitment of both the Minister and the Commissioner to not renew this contract.

UTE is clear and unequivocal that its members are well-equipped, professional, and well-qualified to meet the needs of the CRA in achieving its goals and objectives and responding to the needs of Canadians in times of need and crisis. This has never been so widely established as it has been lately in the response by our members to the Government’s and the Agency’s call for volunteers for the delivery of programs normally outside of the mandate of the CRA. These include:

  • Responding to enquiries and processing applications with respect to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB);  
  • the request from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to assist in responding to callers and helping people escape the recent crisis in Afghanistan; and
  • the call for help from Elections Canada for assistance on Election Day (September 20, 2021).

Time and time again, our members have clearly demonstrated their loyalty, adaptability, flexibility and dedication to meeting the needs of their fellow Canadians while delivering quality services.

UTE is exceedingly proud of the work and accomplishments of its members and we will be vigilant in our efforts to oppose contracting out of our members’ work and the work of other public service employees by continuing to work closely with the PSAC and with our Sisters, Brothers and Friends from other Components. 

In Solidarity,

Marc Brière's signature

Marc Brière
National President
Union of Taxation Employees