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Union representing 35,000 CRA workers approves strike


The union representing 35,000 Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) service workers voted “overwhelmingly” to strike Friday, according to a release sent to CTVNews.ca.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and the Union of Taxation Employees (UTE) made the announcement at 1 p.m. ET. The vote was held between Jan. 31 and April 7 and impacts the majority of CRA employees.

“Our members have sent a strong message to CRA,” Chris Aylward, PSAC national president, said in a press release. “Workers can’t wait, and we’re ready to show this government we won’t let workers fall behind.”

Union members who work at the CRA will be in a legal strike position as of April 14. The strike could cause delays for Canadians filing their 2022 taxes by the May 1 deadline, Lars Jorgensen, the president of EJ Tax Service told CTV News Kitchener.

A final round of negotiations between PSAC and the CRA is set for April 17 to 20.

The union’s collective agreement expired on Oct. 31, 2021, and workers are asking for “a fair compensation package, protections in the context of access to remote work, new protections for union jobs and new scheduling rights, including years of service protections where there is evening and weekend work.”

“Our members are falling further behind as inflation soars and wages are stuck in neutral,” Marc Brière, national president of the Union of Taxation Employees, a component of PSAC, said. “We’ve negotiated in good faith, but our members have had enough.”

In a statement issued Friday evening, the CRA said it “respects the collective bargaining process” and recognizes the right of unionized employees to engage in strike activities.

The agency said it will continue to pursue “meaningful negotiations” with PSAC and UTE in hopes of formalizing reaching a deal, and that the parties are set to renew negotiations from April 17 to 20.

“The CRA is committed to doing everything it can to resolve this labour dispute, to resume negotiations and to continue to bargain in good faith and make every reasonable effort to reach an agreement at the bargaining table that is both fair to employees and reasonable for taxpayers,” the statement read.

The agency said Canadians can visit the CRA website’s Contact Us page for more details and wait times for services, though the page had not been updated with that information as of 8 p.m. ET Friday night.

PSAC is Canada’s largest federal public service union representing 230,000 workers across the country with more than 120,000 employed by Treasury Board. The union represents Crown Corporations, universities, casinos, airports, community service agencies and Indigenous communities.

Source: ctvnews

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