The UTE Political Action Committee has been busy over the past month with two issues that have been tasked to the committee. Outsourcing of Call Centre Work & Québec Single Tax Return. We had several meetings of the committee, and with PSAC, in February.
Outsourcing of Call Centre Work
In January, as Co-Chair of the Call Centre Committee, I became aware of the CRA’s plans to outsource the equivalent of approximately 130 jobs to a 3rd party call centre, Maximus Canada. Since then, I have had several meetings with the PSAC and the Political Action Committee. The PSAC is already working on a contracting out campaign that affects PSAC members at National Defense, Service Canada and Elections Canada. We agreed to join the PSAC’s uncoverthecost.ca campaign, that is already underway. This campaign includes contacting MPs.
Maximus Canada is owned by US parent company Maximus Ltd. The company has been involved in various levels of US government, including national, state and municipal governments for the past 4 decades. Their employees provide many services that in Canada are performed by public service employees, like managing welfare claims, family support obligations, unemployment insurance and Medicare & Medicaid administration. The Canadian operation currently provides services to 10 of 13 provinces and territories, in the health care management field.
Québec Single Tax Return
Bill C-224 was introduced in February 2020 and passed 2nd reading in the House of Commons on January 27, 2020. Brothers Adam Jackson (UTE 2nd VP) and Chris Aylward (PSAC National President) immediately engaged NDP MPs over their support of the bill at second reading. Brother Marc Briere also had discussions with NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, Minister Lebouthillier and appeared before the House of Commons Committee studying the bill along with the PIPSC National President, who is also opposed.
Discussion has been about the impact losing 5,000+ good paying federal jobs in the regions of Québec, primarily in Saugenay-Lac St Jean and Mauricie regions, where CRA is a major employer. The Political Action Committee has been tasked with reviewing the potential job loses outside Québec as Tax Centres, NVCCs and Individual and Business Enquiries Call Centres across Canada, provide services to taxpayers in Québec.
From discussions with MPs in both the Liberal and NDP parties it appears the bill will likely not pass 3rd reading in the House of Commons. UTE activists should continue to engage MPs.
Chair of the Committee