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Tax season strike? Union at Canada Revenue Agency says voting starts this month

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Federal government outlines how often public servants will need to work in office
Treasury Board President Mona Fortier announced Thursday how often federal public servants would need to work in office, with a goal of having to spend at least two to three days per week starting in April – Dec 15, 2022

More than 35,000 Canada Revenue Agency workers will soon vote on whether to go on strike this tax season after being without a contract for more than a year, their union says.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada and the Union of Taxation Employees (PSAC-UTE) will launch strike votes later this month after it says talks broke down over wages and remote work.

Strike votes will be held between Jan. 31 and April 7, the union announced Tuesday in a news release. The union declared it was at an impasse in talks with the government in September, with workers being without a contract for more than a year.

Canadians will be able to file their income tax and benefit return for 2022 between Feb. 20 and May 1.

 

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While strike votes are underway, PSAC-UTE and the agency will proceed to Public Interest Commission hearings Jan. 27 and Feb. 20 with the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board, with their non-binding recommendations to reaching an agreement expected this spring, the union said.

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After the commission issues a report, PSAC-UTE said it will be in a legal strike position if members vote in favour of a strike mandate.

https://twitter.com/psac_afpc/status/1612796274515841024?s=20&t=yqN29lxgHcVlS4QjcSwkuw

“When Canadians needed us most during the pandemic, we delivered — processing nearly 30 million CERB applications and providing historic financial relief to millions of people hardest hit by COVID-19,” said Marc Brière, UTE national president, in the release.

“But Canada Revenue Agency has shown a complete lack of respect for workers at the bargaining table, and a strong strike mandate is the best way to ramp up pressure to reach a fair contract for our members.”

Click to play video: 'CRA says it has $1.4 billion in uncashed cheques dating back to 1998'
CRA says it has $1.4 billion in uncashed cheques dating back to 1998

Global News reached out to the Canada Revenue Agency for comment, but did not receive a response by publication time.

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“Workers’ wages have stalled while the cost of living has continued to rise, and everyone is feeling the strain,” said Chris Aylward, PSAC national president, in the release.

“We’ve been clear negotiating wages that keep up with inflation and a sensible remote work policy are critical to reach a deal, but the Agency has refused to respond to our wage offer and still has major concessions on the table. Workers can’t wait any longer.”

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