Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada

Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada

May 12, 2009 16:10 ET

Thousands of Federal Professionals Give a Collective Thumbs-Down to the Canada Revenue Agency

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 12, 2009) - Thousands of public service professionals with the Canada Revenue Agency have just sent a loud and clear message to the federal government: it can try to legislate their salaries, but it can't force them to passively submit to unacceptable working conditions.

Members of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada's (PIPSC) Audit, Financial and Scientific (AFS) Group, which represents auditors, computer analysts and other professionals, have rejected a proposed Tentative Agreement that would have brought few improvements to their remuneration or other working conditions.

The CRA has repeatedly demonstrated a blatant lack of respect for its professionals and for Canadian taxpayers. Despite knowing in advance of the wage caps to be included in the government's proposed Expenditure Restraint Act, the Agency chose to waste tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars by dragging out bargaining instead of negotiating a fair collective agreement that would meet its needs and those of its professionals. To add insult to injury, it then compounded its error by completely miscalculating their reaction to the workplace impact of the harmonization of the Ontario provincial and the federal sales taxes. This serious situation is a reflection of the Agency's strategy of expansion at any cost.

"Our members make sure that corporations pay their fair share of taxes, protect taxpayers' confidential information, and operate and maintain the Agency's complex computer systems" commented Raymond Lazzara, President of the AFS Group. "The CRA is going to transfer hundreds of Ontario provincial employees into the existing structure without considering the consequences. It's going to throw our tax system into chaos. There will be a serious impact on federal program funding as the economy moves forward. How can they expect us to go along with this?"

Gary Corbett, A/President of the Institute, added: "the situation is typical of this government's poorly thought-out, knee-jerk approach to every issue. There's a real lack of willingness to sit down with stakeholders and work out solutions. Instead, it's all top-down decision making. The results speak for themselves. There's simply no one listening on the government's side. It's just another case of ideology before common sense, the bottom line before the public interest".

The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada represents 57,000 professionals and scientists across Canada's public sector including over 10,000 at the Canada Revenue Agency.

Contact Information

  • Chantal Lecours
    613-228-6310 extension 2229
    613-864-4368 (cell)
    Pierre Villon
    613-228-6310 extension 2228
    613-794-9369 (cell)