Response to Negotiating Team

I’m writing not only as a local president but as a member in good standing with UTE. Being with one off the largest locals, with a great number of virtual reports, a lot of comments come to us from the members. With the lack of previous communication and now several emails, members are more confused and frustrated.

You ask us to support the bargaining team, but what support are our members getting? It is unconscionable that we have gone four years with nothing and potentially going into five with nothing. Our members are getting into more trouble, more ‘mostly meets’ or ‘does not meets’ then in many previous years. The apathy that is being felt by the members is seen in each day when more chatter is taking place then work.

Our members are not anger with management or the government, they are anger at the Union for not providing a visible fight for a contract. PSAC talk of all others – are we the forgotten…. And yet we are asked to support ‘the team’!

Our members are starting to feel serious financial failure with the rising cost of living and no increase in wages. Those with large families are especially vulnerable and will soon be in need of help. To say the situation is reaching desperation is an understatement.

Members have asked how they can redirect their Union dues, asked if we can break away and join another Union or be our own. Many would like to see a survey from the National office asking what they would like as members, what they are willing to do to help. It’s very sad but we are loosing our members and it will be very difficult to get back their trust and faith.

In hopes of better times…

Linda Collins- Local 00013

Negotiation Update

Sent on behalf of Madonna Gardiner / Envoyé de la part de Madonna Gardiner

*** English version. La version française suit***

As the UTE 2nd National Vice President responsible for bargaining, I am writing to all members to give you an update on our negotiations.

We are trying to keep you informed of our attempts to return to the table and we understand that everyone is frustrated with the length of time this round of bargaining is taking. I am committing to you that I will post on the UTE website an update every two weeks. These updates may not contain any new information but they will keep you up to date.

To date:

  • On December 2, 2015 our National UTE President, Bob Campbell, provided an update on the state of negotiations with the CRA. Also in December, the National President’s message in the UTE Newsletter focused on bargaining.
  • Unfortunately, I am not able to bring you good news. Nothing has changed since that update. The Minister of National Revenue has still not responded to Brother Campbell’s letter requesting a meeting and asking that the CRA return to the negotiations table with a mandate to settle our contract.
  • We have no dates to return to the bargaining table. We have asked and our team is ready to go back and negotiate a fair and reasonable collective agreement. We have been without an agreement since October 31, 2012 and I can assure you the bargaining team shares the frustration of the membership. The CRA has no new mandate at this time and we continue to hope the new government will change this. Brother Campbell is still in the process of securing a meeting with the new Treasury Board President, Scott Brison.
  • In order to put pressure on the CRA, we have launched a grievance campaign. We are asking all members to file a grievance in an attempt to get the CRA back to the table to negotiate a fair and reasonable collective agreement. I encourage each of you to contact a Local Executive Officer to complete the required paperwork. Also, please contact your Member of Parliament and ask for their help in putting pressure on the Treasury Board to allow CRA to negotiate. Also, you can email the CRA Commissioner and request that they return to the table. All such actions will help to end this long round of negotiations.
  • You may have seen over the past few weeks that the PSAC Treasury Board and the PIPSC teams have dates to go back to table in February. These are separate bargaining teams. We are the PSAC – CRA bargaining team. The establishment of these dates confuses us since the new Government has not yet determined its negotiations mandate. In order to get the correct information on our bargaining I would encourage members to speak to their local representatives and refer to this web page periodically.

We have heard from the membership that you want the teams to go back to the bargaining table and that is what your bargaining team wants as well. We all have to work together to make this happen

We have stood together through this long process and together we can reach a fair contract for all of us. Please show your support for the Bargaining team and speak to your Local representative regarding all bargaining activities.

In Solidarity,

Madonna Z. Gardiner, 2nd National Vice-President, UTE

Member of the PSAC/UTE Negotiating Team

***La version française. The English version precedes***

En tant que 2e vice‑présidente nationale du Syndicat des employé-e-s de l’Impôt (SEI) et responsable de la négociation, j’écris aux membres pour faire le point sur nos négociations.

Nous essayons de vous informer de nos tentatives de retourner à la table, et nous comprenons que tout le monde soit frustré par la longueur de la présente ronde de négociation. Je m’engage envers vous à afficher sur le site Web du SEI une mise à jour toutes les deux semaines. Ces mises à jour ne contiendront peut-être pas d’information nouvelle, mais vous serez au courant de l’état des négociations.

Le point

  • Le 2 décembre 2015, notre président national du SEI, Bob Campbell, a fait le point sur l’état des négociations avec l’ARC. Aussi en décembre, le message du président national dans le Communiqué du SEI mettait l’accent sur la négociation.
  • Malheureusement, je n’ai aucune bonne nouvelle à vous annoncer. Rien n’a changé depuis cette dernière mise à jour. La ministre du Revenu national n’a toujours pas répondu à la lettre du confrère Campbell, dans laquelle ce dernier demandait une rencontre et exprimait le souhait que l’ARC revienne à la table de négociation avec le mandat de régler notre contrat.
  • Aucune date de retour à la table de négociation ne nous a été communiquée. Nous en avons fait la demande, et notre équipe est prête à retourner à la table et à négocier une convention collective juste et raisonnable. Nous sommes sans contrat de travail depuis le 31 octobre 2012, et je peux vous assurer que l’équipe de négociation partage la frustration des membres. L’ARC n’a aucun nouveau mandat pour l’instant, et nous continuons à espérer que le nouveau gouvernement lui en donnera un. Le confrère Campbell essaie toujours d’obtenir une rencontre avec le nouveau président du Conseil du Trésor, Scott Brison.
  • Afin d’exercer de la pression sur l’ARC, nous avons lancé une campagne de griefs. Nous demandons à tous les membres de déposer un grief dans l’espoir que l’ARC revienne à la table et négocie une convention collective juste et raisonnable. J’encourage chacune et chacun d’entre vous à communiquer avec une dirigeante ou un dirigeant de votre section locale pour remplir les documents nécessaires. Veuillez aussi communiquer avec votre député fédéral et lui demander qu’il exerce de la pression sur le Conseil du Trésor afin que ce dernier permette à l’ARC de négocier. Vous pouvez aussi envoyer un courriel au commissaire de l’ARC et lui demander que l’ARC revienne à la table. Toutes ces mesures nous aideront à conclure cette longue ronde de négociation.
  • Vous avez peut‑être vu au cours des dernières semaines que les équipes de l’AFPC, du Conseil du Trésor et de l’IPFPC ont des dates prévues de retour à la table en février. Il s’agit d’équipes de négociation distinctes. Nous sommes l’équipe de négociation AFPC-ARC. Ces dates créent de la confusion dans notre esprit, car le nouveau gouvernement n’a pas encore déterminé son mandat de négociation. Pour que vous obteniez de l’information exacte sur nos négociations, je vous encourage à parler à vos représentants locaux et à consulter la présente page Web régulièrement.

Nous avons entendu les membres, qui souhaitent que les équipes retournent à la table de négociation, et c’est ce que votre équipe de négociation souhaite également. Nous devons travailler tous ensemble pour que cela arrive. Nous sommes restés unis pendant ce long processus, et c’est en restant unis que nous pourrons obtenir un contrat juste pour nous tous. Je vous demande de montrer votre appui à votre équipe de négociation et de parler à votre représentant local pour tout ce qui touche les négociations.

En toute solidarité,

Madonna Z. Gardiner, 2e vice-présidente nationale, SEI

Membre de l’équipe de négociation AFPC-SEI

Why Pay Union Dues – Robert Campbell

Why Pay Union Dues

The following has been taken from the Nation UTE-SEI site. The original article can be found here

It is often asked by the members….both new and old. I look at it like an insurance premium. The Union will be there when you need it. The Union is also the watchdog of the employer’s actions, locally, regionally and nationally. At times, the Union also works jointly with the employer to develop policies and deliver information to all staff; harassment awareness sessions, joint safety and health committee training and the United Way campaign are just a few examples. Locally, regionally and nationally the Union raises members’ concerns with the employer by way of Union/Management Consultation meetings.

By meetings like local annual general meetings, YOU, the members tell your local executive what it is you want them to do or what direction you want them to take. They, in turn, do the same, along with all other locals in a region, to the Regional Vice President. Then the Regional Vice Presidents, as members of the UTE Executive Council, will help set the Union’s national agenda. This Council also takes direction from the UTE Triennial Convention which delegates from your local attend.

The Union also acts as your bargaining agent for collective bargaining purposes to negotiate a Collective Agreement to cover the working conditions and benefits in your working life with your employer. I must say, that is no easy task.

What has the Union done for me? Many members seem to think that the employer just gave us the rights and benefits that we have.

When I joined the then Revenue Canada Department in 1975 this is a sample of what my working life was like:

  • There was no Dental Plan
  • There was no “Discrimination” clause in the Collective Agreement
  • There was no “Sexual Harassment” clause
  • There was no “Technological Change” clause
  • There was no “Compressed Work Week” or “Flexible Hours” clauses
  • There was no “Maternity Leave” or “Paternal Leave”
  • There was no “Care and Nurturing Leave”
  • There was no “Personal Leave”
  • Ties were not optional for males

In fact I’ll even admit to you that when I joined there were no Taxation Centres or computers, other than the big one in Ottawa at the “Data Centre”. The employer didn’t wake up one day and decide to give these things to us… they were negotiated by the Union.

Here are some of the things that we have attained on top of the ones mentioned above:

  • A Work Force Adjustment (WFA) Policy, which was purely the result of the ’91 strike. Other unions have told us that it is one of the best. Even then the employer unilaterally diminished the original WFA at will. But the Union negotiated the policy into the Collective Agreement, which gives it more force and makes it that it can only be changed through negotiations or legislation.
  • We now have a definition of a common law spouse that recognizes same sex couples
  • There is now leave granted to union representatives to discuss “pending” grievances with a member
  • Leave for long term care of a Parent (Elder Care)
  • An increase in “Bereavement Leave”
  • Pre-Retirement Leave
  • A new Classification Standard for all of our members (SP and MG)
  • Cumulative time recognized for members in acting positions
  • The elimination of Zone Rates of Pay
  • A 37.5 hour work week for our then GS and GLT members
  • A roll over policy for our Term members to indeterminate status
  • 2 personal days which can be taken in hourly increments
  • Expanded definition of family
  • More flexibility for family related leave
  • Enhanced benefits for part-time workers

These are only some of the things that we have the ability to enjoy as Union members. It was the Union who attained these things; the employer did not voluntarily just give them to us. In some cases we had to exercise our right to strike and in other cases the threat of a strike and some job action was enough. And my comments do not even address Joint Consultation issues on policy and procedures in the workplace that have been improved because of the Union intervention. A good example of this is the Union/Management Initiative (UMI) where we attempt to resolve issues at the lowest possible level.

That is Why I Pay Union Dues!

So, who is “the Union”? I can tell you who it is not:

  • It’s not the bricks and mortar at 233 Gilmour Street in Ottawa
  • It’s not the National President of the PSAC
  • It’s not the Alliance Executive
  • It’s not the National President of UTE
  • It’s not the National Executive of UTE
  • It’s not the Local Presidents
  • And it’s not the Local Executives

It is “we” the members, which I am proud to be one of: One member with one voice. When you add us all together locally, regionally or nationally we make a very loud voice that cannot and should not be ignored by the employer or the Union. I am sure, that if your local executive is doing something that the members don’t agree with, they hear about it. Or, if they are not doing something that the members want, they hear about it. Direction is given by the membership!

On saying that, what happens when you the members don’t do or say anything? What happens to the Union? To accomplish anything the members need to be behind it. There is safety in numbers and there is strength in numbers.

Most of us are volunteers in the union and must have some kind of do-gooder instincts to do this kind of work, as well as thick skin, since we take some heat from the employer and the members. So, I’ll ask you, before you want to go on a rant against the Union, ask yourself two things:

Am I willing to do that job and better?

And who is the Union?

In Solidarity,

Robert Campbell
National President

Union Dues Update

Version anglaise / La version française suit

Please be advised that effective January 1, 2016, the union dues of all the members of the Union of Taxation Employees (UTE) and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) bargaining unit have increased.

Starting January 1, 2016, the PSAC portion of the dues has changed in the following manner: the rate was increased from 0.9668% of a member’s salary plus $1.00 per month to 0.9740% plus $1.00 per month. This dues increase was adopted at the last PSAC Convention in April 2015.

Also starting on January 1, 2016, the UTE portion of the dues has increased from $19.05 to $19.40 monthly. This dues increase was adopted at the last UTE Convention in July 2014.

This information is provided to help you in case some members ask questions regarding changes to their union dues on their upcoming pay in January.

Please note that the same information has been posted by the Employer on Infozone.

In Solidarity;

French version / The English version preceeds

Ceci est pour vous aviser qu’à compter du 1er janvier 2016, les cotisations syndicales de tous les membres de l’unité de négociation du Syndicat des Employé-e-s de l’Impôt (SEI) et de l’Alliance de la Fonction Publique du Canada (AFPC) ont augmenté.

À compter du 1er janvier 2016, la portion de l’AFPC des cotisations a changé de la façon suivante : le taux fut augmenté de 0,9668% du salaire d’un membre plus 1,00$ par mois à 0,9740% plus 1,00$ par mois. Cette augmentation des cotisations fut adoptée au dernier Congrès de l’AFPC en avril 2015.

Également en vigueur à compter du 1er janvier 2016, la portion du SEI des cotisations a augmenté de 19,05$ à 19,40$ mensuellement. Cette augmentation des cotisations fut adoptée au dernier Congrès du SEI en juillet 2014.

Ces informations vous sont transmises afin de vous aider au cas où certains membres vous posent des questions concernant des changements à leurs cotisations syndicales sur la prochaine paie à venir en janvier.

Veuillez s’il vous plaît prendre note que la même information a été mise en ligne par l’Employeur sur Infozone.

En toute solidarité,

Marc Brière

1er Vice-président national du SEI

UTE 1st National Vice-President

(613) 235-6704 Bureau/Office

(613) 882-6287 Cell.

marcbriere@ute-sei.org

Bargaining Update

Sent on behalf of Bob Campbell / Envoyé de la part de Bob Campbell

The recent news reports of upcoming bargaining dates apply to Treasury Board units, not to the PSAC-UTE unit. We have not yet been able to secure any dates for a return to the bargaining table with the CRA. The best way to pressure the Employer to return to the table is to file grievances.

Les récents rapports de presse concernant les dates de négociations à venir s’appliquent aux unités du Conseil du Trésor, et non pas à l’unité AFPC-SEI. Nous n’avons pas encore réussi à obtenir des dates pour un retour à la table des négociations avec l’ARC. La meilleure façon de faire pression sur l’Employeur afin qu’il revienne à la table est de déposer des griefs.

Dianna Gee

Dianna Gee serviced as a steward, director and President of Local 00013 for many years. With a lot of hard work and dedication Dianna became our Regional Vice President responsible for five Locals. Dianna held this position for a number of years, working for the benefit of all the members on a full time basis. Dianna was our first aboriginal member to achieve this level. She was an active member of her clan, the Bear, in working towards better education for all aboriginal children.

Dianna passed away suddenly during one of the many conferences that she had to attend on behalf of the members. To honour her hard work and dedication to education, the Local establish the Dianna Gee Charitable Foundation. This Foundation provided a scholarship to each graduating eighth grade student, for a ten year period, to assist the transition to the public school and grade nine. This year is the final year for the Foundation. Below is a letter of thanks from the school on behalf of all the children that were helped.

 

Click Here to read the letter of thanks.