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