Preliminary deal with Canada Revenue Agency ends two-week strike, one of the largest labor strikes in the country’s history.
Canada’s tax authorities have reached a tentative settlement with 35,000 striking workers, ending a two-week work stoppage that marked at its peak one of the largest public sector labor disputes in the country’s history.
In a statement on Thursday, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) union said last month it obtained “a fair contract for members that is higher than the employer’s original offer before the launch of the strike.”
The agreement for Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) workers “provides pay increases higher than those negotiated by other federal negotiating partners,” the union said, as well as new layoff protections and improvements to work hours, telecommuting provisions and seniority.
More than 35,000 CRA workers left their jobs on April 19, along with another 120,000 other federal employees — representing about a third of Canada’s public sector workers.
They staged strikes in hundreds of locations across the country demanding cost of living increases and flexibility for telecommuting.
Canada reached an initial deal with the 120,000 federal workers earlier this week, but CRA workers continued to strike as their negotiations continued.
We have made preliminary arrangements with @PSAC_AFPC – agreements that are fair, competitive and reasonable. We continue to appreciate the hard work officials put in day in and day out, and we thank everyone who has been involved in helping us achieve this result.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) May 1, 2023
The CRA said Thursday the preliminary four-year agreement includes an 11.5 percent pay increase over four years, retroactive to 2021, for about 39,000 of its employees, as well as a one-time payment of $1,800 (Canadian dollars 2,500).
It also requires managers to review telecommuting requests individually, the union said, directing its members to return to work on Thursday.
Teleworking had been a major bottleneck as many employees had become accustomed to working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The CRA would like to thank the members of both negotiating teams for their dedication and hard work during this round of negotiations, and especially over the past few weeks,” the IRS said in a statement.
“Through hours of negotiations, the CRA and the [union] found ways to compromise and, as a result, succeeded in reaching a provisional agreement that is both fair for the employees and reasonable for the taxpayer.”