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Latest CRA offer to striking workers 'slap in the face:' union


Union leaders representing 35,000 striking Canada Revenue Agency employees say the government's latest offer falls short of a deal reached on Monday with 120,000 other public servants.

And they said if the government doesn't table a fair wage offer, striking CRA workers will be at the Liberal convention in Ottawa on Thursday.

"Enough is enough. We want to see a fair deal on the table today," PSAC national president Chris Aylward told reporters on Wednesday. "Our members are fed up, we're fed up, and our members need to get back to work and serving Canadians."

The workers have been on strike since April 19, when the Public Service Alliance of Canada launched a Canada-wide strike on behalf of about 155,000 workers.

PSAC and Treasury Board reached a tentative agreement to end that strike on Monday, which included a 12.6 per cent compounded wage increase over four years.

But the 35,000 CRA workers remain on strike. They are represented by the Union of Taxation Employees, a branch of PSAC. The union says they remain in dispute with the CRA over key issues including telework and fair wages.

"The deal they have on the table currently is less than the deal that we reached on Monday with Treasury Board units," Aylward said. "We don't know why the Canada Revenue Agency is playing this game.

"If we don't see a fair deal put on the table today, we will be at the Liberal Party of Canada convention in Ottawa tomorrow."

Marc Briere, the UTE president, said there have been several passes by both parties this week, but called the CRA's latest offer "a slap in the face."

"Our members are really pissed off and tired of waiting," he said.

In a statement, a spokesman for Minister of National Revenue Diane Lebouthillier said in-person talks had resumed, but they would not comment on the negotiations because the CRA is "an independent and arms-length agency."

On Monday, the CRA said in a statement that the agency and the union had resumed negotiations, with “a view to reach a new collective agreement as soon as possible, that is both fair to employees and reasonable for taxpayers.”

The union initially demanded pay raises of 22.5 per cent over three years, which it says would keep up with the cost of inflation.

Aylward said the union has compromised, but said he would not say exactly where each side sits.

- with files from Hannah Berge, CTV News Ottawa Top Stories

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