Political Action Committee

Report of the Political Action Committee

December 2005

 Kent MacDonald Item (m)

The Political Action Committee became the 13th Standing Committee of the Union of Taxation employees by way of a resolution 468 at the Thirteenth Triennial Convention.

The committee members are:

Kent MacDonald – RVP Northern and Eastern Ontario, Chairperson.
Nick Stein – RVP Southwestern Ontario, Co-Chair.
Annette Melanson – Presidents Representative.

The committee held its first meeting on September 19th, 2005. The purpose of the meeting was three fold.

The committee has decided that we need to put the gathered information into a more user friendly format. This item is a work in progress and with an upcoming Federal election could be more work then progress.

The President decided to disband the Ad-hoc Budget Impact Committee and turn the remainder of Federal Budget Expenditure Review Committee (ERC) Campaign over to the newly created PAC.

  1. To discuss the work of the Ad-hoc Political Information Committee.
  2. The Budget Impact Committee.

The committee decided the first priority was to meet with the employer and get an update on the ERC and the seven Canada Revenue Agency initiatives. Sister Bannon arranged a meeting for the PAC, which was held on October 12, 2005. I sent an update via email to Executive Council on October 16th, 2005. Here is that email:

This information will be in my committee report but is important and should be shared with you now.

On Wednesday Oct 12th, Betty and the PAC met with the employer to get an update on the 7 ERC( Expenditure Review Committee) initiatives. We went through each of the seven:

1) Tax Return Processing (2D Bar Coding).
     The employer is moving a head as planned and the projected loss of FTE will continue.

2) Cash Counters
     The employer as per the Commissioners decision we  will continue to have "Payment" Counters but will start convincing  taxpayers to not pay in cash.  F & A is in the processing of reallocating budgets to put the five million back into the Payment/Cash Counters, this info will be sent out to the AD's in charge of Cash shortly. The employer will stop referring to Cash and start referring to them as Payment Counters. The employer will be running a pilot project in the Pacific Region next spring to inform the public of the change, from the pilot they will then use this info to develop a national campaign.
  
3) Enquiries Counter Service
     The employer stated that the week of Oct 24-28(we are scheduling a meeting) they will be informing us as to the names and numbers the affected members plus answering our questions as to how they will be setting up the "appointment only" service as an example.

4) Corporate Services
     The employer said they are moving forward with the projected savings. The most tangible saving areas is the ESS and MSS portals.
 
5) Pay Compensation Delivery Services
    As we know the employer moved from having only one location, Ottawa, to two locations, Ottawa and Winnipeg.
The initial reduction in FTEs was from 425 to 280, but with two locations it looks like the will be a lot higher then 280. The employer is going to provide us with the final FTEs for each location. Chris and Shawn could you please look at this from your end and find out what the proposed final FTEs at each office will be. Thanks

6) Corporate Overhead at Headquarters
     The employer informed us that ITB is the main area that will be affected with the reductions to FTEs which will have next to no affect on our members.
7) Corporate Overhead Outside Headquarters
     The closure of the St.Stephen Office was part of this area, the employer stated it would not reverse its decision to close the location.

With respect to Items 5, 6 & 7, I have asked Chris to speak with his two head office locals and keep an eye on where the employer is achieving its $66 million in annual savings.

Once we meet with the employer in two weeks the PAC will provide our next actions to put pressure on the employer to reverse it Client Services reductions.

Betty, I need to know where we are at with the Button grievances, have any been presented at the final level and can we get something scheduled for adjudication soon?

RVPs  Please provide me where you are at with meeting the members of the Board of Management.
ie. Have you found a mailing address or phone number.
Once we have the info from the meeting in two week we need you to meet with or write a letter to you respective Board of Management before our NUMC.

As for Item 3 in the email the proposed two week follow-up meeting, which should have been held the week of October 24-28,  is now scheduled for November 30th,2005.

I will provide a verbal update at the December Council meeting.

The committee is meeting on December 1st, 2005 to plan the next actions for the campaign and to write a draft letter for Executive Council members to use in contacting the CRA Board of Management.

Attached is the Information List of the CRA Board of Management. Executive Council is asked to verify the accuracy of the info and used the information and the attached draft letter to set up a meeting to discuss the issues in the ERC.

  1. The committee had a general discussion/brain storming on where we see this committee in the future. We all agreed that this committee will focus on the ERC Campaign and continue to work on Item 1 before we consider moving in any one particular direction.

Lastly, the PAC was approved to attend a day and a half Political Education Conference in Toronto November 19-20, 2005. The conference sponsored by the Ontario Federation of Labour and the Ontario NDP is call “Side by Side: the NDP and the Labour Movement” which I hope will be beneficial to the committee. I will be submitting a supplemental report on this conference as an addition to this report.

Respectfully submitted.

Kent MacDonald
Chair of the Committee