UPDATE ON THE TAXABILITY OF PHOENIX DAMAGES

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UPDATE ON THE TAXABILITY OF PHOENIX DAMAGES

January 13, 2021

Treasury Board has provided PSAC with a letter from CRA setting out its preliminary view that the general damages in the Phoenix settlement agreement are taxable. This letter, which was prepared at Treasury Board’s request and without PSAC’s input, is not a formal tax ruling and PSAC is contesting this conclusion.

PSAC maintains that general damages paid to all employees for “stress, aggravation, and pain and suffering” and for the late implementation of collective agreements are non-taxable, as CRA has acknowledged other specific damages in the settlement should be treated.

We carefully negotiated an agreement that reflects a wide range of impacts suffered by PSAC members, including the significant emotional toll that the implementation of the Phoenix Pay System had on them. The tax treatment of the general damages should reflect the purpose of that compensation. The letter from CRA contains numerous critical factual errors and misapplies the relevant income tax principles on this issue.

We have communicated with both Treasury Board and the CRA about our concerns and will continue to work to resolve these issues. Our goal is to ensure PSAC members receive the full compensation they deserve and that we avoid any time consuming and complex tax disputes for individual members.

The resolution of these issues is of extreme importance to PSAC and we will continue to update members as we work to bring this to a conclusion. We will also update members as soon as we receive a projected timeline from Treasury Board as to when members can expect to receive their payments.

CLAUSE 10.02 – MEMBERS’ COPY OF THE COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT / PARAGRAPHE 10.02 – EXEMPLAIRE DE LA CONVENTION COLLECTIVE POUR LES MEMBRES

CLAUSE 10.02 – MEMBERS’ COPY OF THE COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT

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December 15, 2020

As you are likely aware, a new collective agreement was negotiated with the Canada Revenue Agency. The new agreement was signed on November 13, 2020, and covers the period from November 1, 2016, to October 31, 2021, inclusively.

The new collective agreement is now available electronically on the UTE’s website. It is also available through the employer at InfoZone and Canada.ca.

While no amendments were made to clause 10.02 of the collective agreement, the parties did agree, however, to establish a committee to consider alternatives to the printing of approximately 30,000 copies of the collective agreement within the parameters of sustainable development objectives.

Clause 10.02 reads as follows:

  • The Employer agrees to supply each employee with a copy of this Agreement and will endeavour to do so within one (1) month after receipt from the printer.”

In light of this commitment, the parties have agreed to recommend the use of the electronic version of the new collective agreement.

Notwithstanding this commitment, some members may wish to receive a printed version of the collective agreement. Clause 10.02 above allows for these members to receive a printed copy, at their discretion.

For those members, a printed version is available through a pre-order request via the employer’s Forms and Publications Order Service site where they can select the RC-4208-REV 2020 (collective agreement) which will be available in English or French format, depending on the member’s preference. Upon submitting a pre-order request, individuals will receive a message indicating that the requested product will be shipped at a later date. Please note that printing will be based on the number of requests, and agreements are expected to be available for home delivery early in 2021.

Members will be able to place an order for a printed copy through the employer’s site during a pre-set ordering window from December 15, 2020 to January 22, 2021. After that date, members who have not placed their order will be deemed to have chosen to use the electronic version of the collective agreement.

For UTE local representatives and Regional Vice-Presidents, we have advised the employer that they will require printed copies in order to fulfill their roles in meetings with managers, meetings with members during the grievance process and other such activities.

We strongly encourage all of our members to familiarize themselves with their collective agreement, including but not limited to the recent changes negotiated during the last round of bargaining to understand their rights and the employer’s obligations concerning their terms and conditions of employment.

In closing, we also encourage members to raise any issues or questions they may have with one of their local UTE representatives.

PARAGRAPHE 10.02 – EXEMPLAIRE DE LA CONVENTION COLLECTIVE POUR LES MEMBRES

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15 décembre 2020

Comme vous le savez sans doute, une nouvelle convention collective a été négociée avec l’Agence du revenu du Canada. La nouvelle convention a été signée le 13 novembre 2020 et couvre la période allant du 1er novembre 2016 au 31 octobre 2021, inclusivement.

La nouvelle convention collective est désormais disponible en version électronique sur le site web du SEI. Elle est également disponible par l’intermédiaire de l’employeur sur InfoZone et à Canada.ca.

Bien qu’aucune modification n’ait été apportée au paragraphe 10.02 de la convention collective, les parties ont toutefois convenu de créer un comité chargé d’étudier des solutions de rechange à l’impression d’environ 30 000 exemplaires de la convention collective dans une perspective de développement durable.

Le paragraphe 10.02 est libellé comme suit :

  • « L’Employeur convient de fournir à chaque employé un exemplaire de la présente convention et s’efforcera de le faire au cours du mois qui suit sa réception de l’imprimeur. »

Compte tenu de cet engagement, les parties ont convenu de recommander l’utilisation de la version électronique de la nouvelle convention collective.

Nonobstant cet engagement, certains membres pourraient souhaiter recevoir une version imprimée de la convention collective. Le paragraphe 10.02 ci-dessus permet à ces membres de recevoir une copie imprimée, à leur discrétion.

Pour ces membres, une version imprimée est disponible sur demande préalable via le site du Service de commande de formulaires et de publications de l’employeur où ils peuvent sélectionner le RC-4208-REV 2020 (convention collective) qui sera disponible en format anglais ou français, selon la préférence du membre. En soumettant une demande de précommande, les personnes recevront un message indiquant que le produit demandé sera expédié à une date ultérieure. Veuillez noter que l’impression se fera en fonction du nombre de demandes et que les conventions devraient être disponibles pour une livraison à domicile au début de 2021.

Les membres pourront commander un exemplaire imprimé par l’intermédiaire du site de l’employeur pendant une période de commande prédéfinie allant du 15 décembre 2020 au 22 janvier 2021. Après cette date, les membres qui n’auront pas passé leur commande seront réputés avoir choisi d’utiliser la version électronique de la convention collective.

Pour les représentants locaux et les Vice-présidents régionaux du SEI, nous avons informé l’employeur qu’ils auront besoin de copies imprimées afin de pouvoir remplir leur rôle lors des réunions avec les gestionnaires, des réunions avec les membres pendant la procédure de règlement des griefs et d’autres activités de ce type.

Nous encourageons vivement tous nos membres à se familiariser avec leur convention collective, y compris, mais sans s’y limiter, avec les récents changements négociés lors du dernier cycle de négociation afin de comprendre leurs droits et les obligations de l’employeur concernant leurs conditions d’emploi.

En conclusion, nous encourageons également les membres à soulever tout problème ou question qu’ils pourraient avoir avec un de leurs représentants locaux du SEI.

UTE STANDS WITH BLACK FEDERAL PUBLIC SERVICE WORKERS IN THEIR CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT

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UTE STANDS WITH BLACK FEDERAL PUBLIC SERVICE WORKERS IN THEIR CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT

December 10, 2020

On this day, December 10, 2020, a day recognized by the United Nations as Human Rights Day, the Union of Taxation Employees (UTE) joins with the bargaining agent, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), in support of  the legal action taken on behalf of nearly 30,000 past and present federal public service workers who identify as Black, Caribbean or of African descent.

As you may be aware, the PSAC intends to serve as an intervener in the class action lawsuit filed against the Government of Canada by Black public service workers who have been subjected to discriminatory hiring and promotional practices.

The class action, which has been filed with the Federal Court of Canada, argues that Black employee exclusion has led to economic and psychological harm for thousands of public service workers since the 1970s. The claim calls on the federal government to implement a plan to truly diversify the federal public service and provide restitution to tens of thousands of Black public service workers.

While this class action was advanced independently from the Union, our support of this legal action is well within the spirit and principles of our ongoing battle against racism, including the pursuit of the end of these practices and the resolution and remedy for our members as a result of these practices.

The federal government has acknowledged that systemic racism is prevalent in Canadian society and within government institutions. While this is not news to UTE, we are pleased with this acknowledgement as a first step and we embrace an opportunity to join with our Black members in an effort to identify solutions to remedy the injustices and systemic discrimination that they have had to endure.

In solidarity,

Marc Brière
National President

UPDATE: IMPLEMENTATION OF THE COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT

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UPDATE: IMPLEMENTATION OF THE COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT

December 9, 2020

Here’s good news for our members. The CRA provided us with an update earlier today regarding the implementation of our new collective agreement signed on November 13, 2020.

We are happy to confirm that the CRA plans to pay eligible employees the non-pensionable lump sum amount of $400 on the pay of December 23, 2020. The November 1, 2020 salary rate will also be updated on the pay of December 23, 2020.

In addition, Public Services Procurement Canada has tentatively scheduled (may be subject to change) the following payments:

  • Retroactive adjustment on the pay of March 31, 2021, and
  • Lump sum payment of $500 in recognition of the extended implementation timeline on the pay of April 28, 2021.  

We will continue to keep you informed of any updates as they become available.

In solidarity,

Marc Brière
National President

THE NEW COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT IS SIGNED

THE NEW COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT IS SIGNED

November 13, 2020

We are pleased to announce that the Public Service Alliance of Canada – Union of Taxation Employees (PSAC/UTE) and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) signed a new collective agreement this morning for approximately 29,000 employees working at CRA and being represented by the PSAC-UTE.

The new collective agreement is now in effect. It applies from November 1, 2016, to October 31, 2021, inclusively. The CRA has a maximum of 180 days from today to implement the provisions of the collective agreement, which includes the adjustment of the employees’ wages and paying out the retroactive and lump sum payments.

The Agency committed to keeping the union updated every two weeks as to the progress of getting union members paid out. The first meeting is scheduled for Tuesday November 17, 2020.

Once again, we want to thank each and every one of you, our members, for your ongoing support to your bargaining team and your union.

If you have any questions about the new collective agreement, please speak with one of your local union representatives.
 

SIGNING OF THE NEW COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT ON NOVEMBER 13TH

SIGNING OF THE NEW COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT ON NOVEMBER 13TH

November 5, 2020

Now that the tentative agreement between PSAC/UTE and CRA has been approved by the Governor in Council and the Governor General of Canada, the parties will be signing  the new collective agreement on Friday, November 13, 2020.

The date of signing is the date on which our contract takes effect.  Everyone in the bargaining unit on that date is eligible to receive the one-time lump sum payment in the amount of $400.00. 

CRA has 180 days from the date of signing the new collective agreement to:

  • implement the new rates of pay;
  • provide retroactive pay effective to the expiry date of the old contract; and
  • pay the one-time lump sum payment in the amount of $500.00 as compensation for the extended implementation timelines. All our members are entitled to this amount as well as those who retired after the expiry date of the last contract.

We are in discussions with the Agency as to when these payments will be made. Further information will be provided as soon as it becomes available.
 

Upcoming Signing of the New Collective Agreement

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UPCOMING SIGNING OF THE NEW COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT

October 22, 2020

Hello Sisters and Brothers,

We know you are all impatiently waiting to learn when the new collective agreement will finally be signed. Many of you have contacted us regarding this issue.

As mentioned by the Commissioner and the Deputy Commissioner in an email sent to employees on September 30th, the CRA, as a separate employer, must seek approval of the agreement from the Governor in Council (this is in fact the Cabinet of the federal government and the Governor General). Once the Governor in Council approves it, it will publish an Order in Council. Then, the CRA and the PSAC-UTE will meet shortly thereafter to sign the new collective agreement.

The Cabinet is expected to meet to approve our agreement at the end of October or early November.

We therefore anticipate being able to sign the new collective agreement in mid-November unless an emergency arises that would postpone the meeting of the Cabinet.

As soon as we have confirmation from CRA that it has received the Order in Council, we will inform you of the specific date of signing of the new collective agreement.

In Solidarity,

Marc Brière
National President

Acknowledgements from the National President, Marc Brière

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Acknowledgements from the National President, Marc Brière

The following video has been posted on our website.

UTE source

Here is the text of the video:

Hello Sisters and Brothers,
 
As you now know, most of you voted in favour of the tentative agreement reached on July 25th between our bargaining team and the CRA team. 
 
Finally, we have our new contract!  And it’s thanks to you that we have come this far.
 
You are the union!
 
Indeed, your unwavering support for our bargaining team has been invaluable and has greatly contributed to our success.
 
In fact, the CRA and the government had no choice but to recognize your exceptional work and especially what you have accomplished since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
As your National President, this makes me very proud and I absolutely want to thank you all very much.
 
Of course, I would also like to congratulate and thank our bargaining team for their excellent work and great dedication.
 
Indeed, under the leadership of our Second National Vice-President, Brother Adam Jackson, who is responsible for UTE negotiations, our team has achieved the goals it set out to accomplish:
 
Which were:
  • To improve the work-life balance and working conditions for all our members and especially for call centre employees;
  • and, of course, to achieve wage increases that at least match the cost of living.
In addition to Brother Jackson, I want to thank each and every member of the team. For UTE, they are Brother Jamie vanSydenborgh, who is the Co-chair of our National Bargaining Committee, along with Brothers Gary Esslinger, Greg Krokosh, Cosimo Crupi, Eddy Aristil, Brian Oldford and Shane O’Brien and Sister Michelle Neill. For the PSAC, Brothers Morgan Gay, Negotiator, and Pierre-Samuel Proulx, Research Officer.
 
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank PSAC National President Brother Chris Aylward for his unwavering support.
 
Finally, I must absolutely acknowledge the ongoing support and commitment of our Locals who have organized a multitude of activities to mobilize and keep you informed throughout this round of bargaining and the UTE Executive Council Officers for their continued support to our Locals and to you, our members.
 
Thank you so much to all our union representatives, whether at the local, regional or national level.  Keep up the great work!
 
Sisters and Brothers, all together, we have shown once again that solidarity works!  Again and always.
 
And now, what's next?
 
Well, in the coming weeks, the Governor in Council of the federal government will officially approve the agreement and we will meet with CRA representatives to sign the new collective agreement.
 
Except for wage increases, almost all of which are retroactive, the terms of the new contract come into effect on the date of signing.
 
Rest assured that as soon as the contract is signed, you will be the first ones to be informed.
 
Thank you and take good care of yourself and your loved ones.
 

PSAC MEMBERS RATIFY NEW AGREEMENTS WITH TREASURY BOARD AND CRA

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PSAC MEMBERS RATIFY NEW AGREEMENTS WITH TREASURY BOARD AND CRA

September 29, 2020

A majority of PSAC members in the Program and Administrative (PA)Technical Services (TC)Education and Library Science (EB), and PSAC-UTE (Canada Revenue Agency) bargaining units have voted in favour of their respective tentative agreements. The four units represent nearly 110,000 federal public service workers who have gone above and beyond to support Canadians during this pandemic.

The new collective agreements for the PA, TC and EB groups cover the 2018-2021 period, while the new PSAC-UTE collective agreement covers the 2016-2021 period. All agreements provide for fair wages, no concessions and improved working conditions.

“I am proud of the elected members of our bargaining teams for their unwavering dedication during this round of talks,” said Chris Aylward, PSAC National President. “Thanks to their hard work and the solidarity shown by thousands of members across the country, we were able to negotiate a fair deal. We’re now in a strong position to build on these improvements in the next round of bargaining.”

Next Steps

In the coming weeks, PSAC will meet with Treasury Board and CRA representatives to sign the new collective agreements. With the exception of monetary provisions, which are retroactive, new contract terms come into effect on the date of signing.

Both employers have 180 days from the signing of the contracts to implement wage increases, wage adjustments and allowances. As explained in the ratification kits, in view of this extended implementation timeline, PSAC negotiated a $500 lump sum payment into all contracts.

PSAC will update members when contracts are signed. Please keep your contact information up to date via the member portal.

SV group, Parks, CFIA and FB group

Members in the Operational Services (SV) group have until October 5 to vote on their new contract while those in the Parks and CFIA units will vote between October 5 and November 4.

Members in the Border Services (FB) unit are still in talks.