CRA Labor Strike Potential

Potential Strike at CRA

The CRA has approximately 55,000 employees. It is

by far the biggest federal government employer.

More than 35,000 of those workers are part of two

unions: the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC)

and the Union of Taxation Employees (UTE).


On January 10, 2023, PSAC-UTE announced that they

launched a nationwide strike vote for 35,000 CRA

employees, after talks with the CRA broke down over

wages and remote work. The strike votes will be

conducted from January 31 to April 7, 2023. Workers

at CRA have been without a contract for more than a

year, and the union declared an impasse in September



While strike votes are underway, PSAC-UTE and

CRA will proceed to Public Interest Commission

(PIC) hearings on January 27th and February 20th

with the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and

Employment Board. The hearings are expected to

produce non-binding recommendations for an

agreement and are anticipated in the spring.


Once the Commission issues its report, PSAC-UTE

will be in a legal strike position if voting provides a

strike mandate. So, if the CRA does strike, there is a

very good chance it will be in April sometime.


The PSAC released the following as key bargaining

issues with the CRA (presented in italics below):


Fair Wages - The cost of living and inflation are

through the roof. In these tough times, we deserve fair

wages. We will hold the line to make sure we – and all

Canadians – don’t get left behind.



Note: a wage proposal presented to the CRA by

PSAC-UTE in July 2022 calls for a 9% wage increase

effective November 1, 2021 (to level the playing field

with Canada Border Service Agency members) and

then a 4.5% increase retroactive to November 1, 2021;

an 8% increase retroactive to November 1, 2022; and

an 8% increase effective November 1, 2023. That

represents a cumulative 32.9% total increase in salary

over a two-year period (from Nov 2021 to Nov 2023).


Hours Of Work - We need to have protection against

evening, weekend and shift work. We deserve to be

compensated for our time, and our years of service

should be recognized.


Better Work-Life Balance - Remote work has become

a part of everyday life in our workplaces. Now it’s

time to look to the future by enshrining remote work

and the right to disconnect in our collective



Note: according to UTE the CRA has 9,000 call centre

employees, and they’re all working from home.


Good, Secure Jobs - CRA has repeatedly tried to

contract our work to private companies. But when

public money goes into private pockets, Canadians

lose out with higher costs, more risk, and reduced

quality of services. We need to end contracting out

and fight for good, secure public service jobs.


Let’s hope that in the event there is strike action, it is

brief and does not adversely affect the ability of

taxpayers to file income tax returns at a critical time in

the tax cycle. Nonetheless, potential strike action at

the CRA is a good reason to be proactive and reach out

to clients early (as part of your marketing efforts) and

discuss getting tax information to you as soon as



Source Jan 27, 2023 from EFILE Association Newsletter

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  • TORONTO, Feb. 12, 2023 – The mounting war of words between the Canada Revenue Agency and its employees does not bode well for tax season. This past week, the union representing 14,000 revenue agency employees — who have been working from home for almost three years — filed a bad-faith bargaining complaint against the CRA. 

    The agency wants them back in the office for a few days each week and the union says that decision should be part of collective bargaining. “The pandemic forced governments to modernize labour practices, and these practices need to be embedded into employee contracts,” the head of the union told Canadian Press

    Of course, each year the whole business of filing your tax return (and it is a business) gets called into question, and this year is no different. The cruel and unusual torture of doing your taxes was criticized by Vicky Mochama in the Globe and Mail this past week, who admitted in print to not filing her tax return in years. Mochama points out that in many countries around the world, filing is as simple as signing a pre-filled form, and the Liberals promised to pursue this remedy in the 2020 budget. 

    At the same time, the Taxpayers Ombudsperson does an annual campaign each year, that promotes filing to low-income and marginalized groups, which seems to fall on deaf ears. And now, on to the rest of the news from the past week in Canadian accounting. 

    Union files bad-faith bargaining complaint against Canada Revenue Agency
    Union claims the CRA's recent decision to impose a “one-size-fits-all” return mandate — instead of negotiating at the bargaining table — amounts to n…
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