PSAC seeks legal advice on CRA telework changes

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

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

The CRA recently informed the union that it will likely present a plan that provides that management can unilaterally require certain employees to return to the office starting this fall. Our union did not accept this plan.

Under the Federal Public Sector Labor Relations Act, once the PSAC has served notice to commence bargaining, all bargaining issues are frozen until a new collective agreement is adopted. The position of our legal counsel is that our current terms and conditions are frozen unless the union consents to the changes the CRA wishes to make.

Therefore, our team advised the employer that PSAC-UTE will follow up with legal counsel to bring the CRA before the Federal Public Sector Labor Relations and Employment Board if any changes are made without the consent of the union.

Protect telework in the collective agreement

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

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

Other key questions

Our team also raised proposals around new rights for part-timers – including access to more pensionable hours through seniority recognition – as well as the importance of protecting our jobs from outsourcing.

We return to the table in mid-July and expect to table our economic proposals then.

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Visit the Union of Taxation Employees and PSAC websites for more information and subscribe for regular updates. If you have any questions, please contact your UTE Local.

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