OCTOBER 18, 2018


The Commissioner welcomed the parties to the meeting and looked forward to a good and constructive dialogue on issues of mutual interest. He reflected on his second anniversary with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). He said the CRA was on a path toward transformation. As part of CRA’s service agenda, he expressed the importance of listening to stakeholders, including employees and the unions, and incorporating their feedback into CRA policies and services, to change and improve clients’ perception of the CRA. While recognizing National Conflict Resolution Day, he expressed being pleased that with the recommitment of the parties to the Union-Management Philosophy, he has seen a more constructive relationship between management and the unions. He expressed that, while it was unfortunate that the CRA was not provided with advance notice of part one of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) Tax Fairness Report, he appreciated being provided with advance notice of part two of this report, prior to its publication. He remarked that this demonstrated the trust and confidence the union placed in the CRA to maintain its confidentiality. He further stated that this was a good example of the constructive relationship management has with the union. He stated that the CRA Charitable Campaign launched on September 19, 2018, and its focus was on “changing lives”. He said that there was every indication that this will be another great campaign. He remarked that the Public Service Employee Survey (PSES), which closed on October 5, 2018, was another good opportunity to hear the issues expressed by employees and to identify actions to address them. He mentioned the legalization of Cannabis that came into effect on October 17, 2018, and expressed being confident that the CRA had the appropriate policies in place to manage this change.


The President, AFS Group, remarked being pleased to meet with the CRA to discuss matters of importance to both the members of the AFS Group and the CRA. He noted that since the last National Union-Management Consultation Committee (NUMCC) meeting, on May 3, 2018, numerous consultations with management took place on a variety of topics. He remarked that a collective bargaining session was held the previous week. The union was optimistic at a quicker conclusion to the negotiations than that of the previous round. It was clear to him that the CRA can take no action without the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS)’s approval. He stated that it may require taking a more proactive role in getting the CRA to bargain. Regarding the Staffing Redesign Project, he expressed being pleased with the amount of engagement that management has requested and received from managers, employees and the unions. He stated that this was a very good example of union-management cooperation and this approach reflected a common goal to improve staffing for everyone at the CRA. He looked forward to a constructive meeting with senior leaders from both management and the union in attendance.


  1. Union-Management Approach


The Assistant Commissioner, Human Resources Branch (AC, HRB) stated that on      May 14, 2018, the Commissioner, the former Deputy Commissioner, and the National Presidents of both unions, came together and renewed their commitment to the Union-Management Philosophy. Since this date, many regions and branches have celebrated this achievement by holding their own recommitment events. He also stated that on August 9, 2018, a number of updates were communicated to senior management. He said it was announced that the responsibility for the Union-Management Approach (UMA) workload had transitioned to the Labour Relations Division (LRD) in HRB and the two online components of the UMA training were available. He also stated that a governance structure in which to provide administrative support to the training and the sustainability of UMA activities has also been communicated. The AC, HRB stated that since June 2018, the working group, reporting to the National UMA Committee, had been actively organizing pilots for UMA 103, or the face-to-face component of the UMA Training. He said that pilots were held in the Quebec Region, the Prairie Region, and the Ontario Region. The required changes were made to the training material and the facilitators’ guide. He remarked that the LRD has also been developing templates to assist with the sustainability of UMA. He was pleased to report that the CRA was on target to launch UMA 103 at the end of October 2018.


The Vice-President and Atlantic Representative expressed that these were exciting times for both the union and management. He looks forward to the launch of UMA 103 and reminded the Assistant Commissioners to have their regional steering committees in place by the end of October in preparation to support the launch.


The Commissioner also looks forward to seeing how UMA permeates throughout the organization. He stated that the commitment by senior executives is unequivocal.



Action Items:

  • The AC, HRB will provide an update following the launch of UMA 103 at the next NUMCC meeting.


  1. Pay-Related Matters (Phoenix and PIPSC-AFS Group/CRA Collective Agreement Implementation)


The President, AFS Group, expressed disappointment that the collective agreement was not fully implemented by the end of the 150-day implementation period. He said that maternity and parental allowances are part of the contract and were not implemented during this period. He acknowledged the work of Compensation Advisors in processing pay adjustments and retroactive amounts in a timely manner. He remarked that there was still 20% of employees with an open case that was over 30 days old with the Compensation Client Service Centre (CCSC). He noted that this figure had not dropped since the 150-day implementation period concluded in August 2018. While he recognized that this figure was substantially better than the one for the federal public service, this demonstrated that despite the good work of compensation staff, Phoenix was simply not, and never will be, a reliable pay system. He mentioned that there are still numerous chronic payroll issues. He stated that a promise had been made one year ago to fix the bilingual bonus pay issues, and he had not been provided an update since then. He remarked that the incorrect deductions of union dues with the Public Service Alliance of Canada – Union of Taxation Employees (PSAC-UTE) members had been resolved, however, he had not been advised of the resolution to the incorrect deductions of PIPSC-AFS Group union dues. He urged the CRA to find an in-house solution to correctly pay AFS Group members. He stated that properly paying employees is a basic requirement of an organization that strives to be world-class. He remarked that with a properly functioning pay system along with the hard work of Compensation Advisors, he had no doubt that the CRA would meet the implementation period of the next collective agreement. He said that he appreciated the updates he received during the bi-weekly meetings and he would appreciate a similar format in the future.


The AC, HRB stated that Budget 2018 announced the Government of Canada’s intention to move away from Phoenix and to develop a pay system that will meet the needs of its employees and function with the complexity of the federal government’s human resources and pay structure. A multi-disciplinary team in TBS has been established to deliver options for a human resources and pay alternative and it will work closely with experts, unions, vendors and, most importantly, federal public service employees. In due time, federal public service employees, including Compensation Advisors, will be testing the new system and will be involved at all stages of development and implementation, including training. He stated that the CRA is contributing its expertise to the government-wide efforts. He stated that the government’s first priority remains the stabilisation of Phoenix and that both initiatives are taking place concurrently. He stated that the Compensation Team completed the adjustments required within the 150-day implementation period for the PIPSC-AFS Group/CRA collective agreement. As with any revision exercise, there is residual work. This can include adjustments to severance pay, final pay for terminated employees, adjustments to disability benefits and appointments to a different bargaining unit. He also stated that during the 150-day implementation period, management met with the President, AFS Group and the Vice-President and Atlantic Representative and provided them with bi-weekly progress updates. He also stated that there were 40 Compensation Advisors that had been dedicated to the 150-day implementation work, and 32 Compensation Advisors remain dedicated to completing all residual work. The AC, HRB stated that maternity and parental allowance adjustments were processed on the pay of September 19, 2018. The CCSC continues to answer revision-related enquiries that have been received to date, and is expected to complete this by October 31, 2018. He stated that for individuals who are no longer members of the union or for terminated employees, adjustments will be processed by December 31, 2018. This includes severance pay adjustments, and retroactive adjustments for appointments with another bargaining unit. He said that adjustments for individuals who transferred out of the CRA will be processed by their new organization. The Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) is responsible for informing the new department that a revision is due. He said that the PSPC automatically sent the insurers, Sun Life and Industrial Alliance, the required salary information for them to make adjustments to disability benefits for eligible plan members, in their July file. Both insurers confirmed that they will only start processing CRA’s adjustments in early 2019. He stated that they have been working on adjustments for the federal public service for several months now but they have a schedule based on when a collective agreement was signed. Several TBS agreements were signed before the PIPSC-AFS Group/CRA collective agreement. With respect to outstanding inventory, the AC, HRB stated that the Compensation Team continued to make good progress in reducing it, in addition to the significant manual work resulting from the collective agreement implementation. He said that as of October 3, 2018, approximately 20% of CRA employees have an open case over 30 days old. This compares to 75.7% of employees in organizations serviced by the Public Service Pay Centre. He recognized the work of the Compensation Advisors, since both the PSAC-UTE/CRA collective agreement reopener and the PIPSC-AFS/CRA collective agreement implementation occurred at the same time. The CRA continues to work very hard with PSPC for some of the issues the union raised for which there were currently no solutions with respect to the Phoenix system. He said that the issues surrounding the bilingual bonus and union dues deductions continue to be a focus. He noted that in the cases that have been outstanding for more than 30 days, 75% of these transactions cannot be processed at this time because the solutions have not been identified, and those include high levels of overpayments. The AC, HRB stated that the CRA is not waiting for the new pay system to address the bilingual bonus issues. He stated that the information available at the CRA and at the PSPC does not match, and that issuing payments until this is resolved could result in overpayments to employees.


The Commissioner remarked that the CRA continues to remain focused on solving as many problems as it can under the existing pay system and that we will be balancing the focus on doing the right thing for CRA employees, contributing expertise to assist in the stabilization of the Phoenix system, and contributing to the next generation payroll system. The Commissioner also recognized the hard work of Compensation Advisors. It is important to the Commissioner that the CRA continue to communicate honestly and effectively with employees.


The Prairie/NWT Region AFS Representative inquired about the pay rates provided to the insurers. He expressed concern at how long it will take for the insurers to start processing his members’ files. He suggested better communication from the insurers or the CRA with AFS Group members regarding their benefits.


The CS National Consultation Representative also recognized the hard work of CRA’s Compensation staff. He remarked on the bilingual bonus and stated that this is a fixed amount and has not changed in many years. He asked that for individuals who still continue to be underpaid their bilingual bonus whether a cheque can be sent to them separately until the issue is resolved. He expressed concern at the lack of communication from the CRA on this issue. He asked whether the CRA was waiting until a new pay system was in place to address the bilingual bonus issue and the union dues deduction issue.


  1. Chief Service Officer (CSO)


The Commissioner underlined the importance of the service agenda, not only for the Chief Service Officer but also for all senior executives. He said that while the CRA is expected to perform an enforcement role, it will do so in a respectful manner relying on education and engagement and that communicating this message to employees is important. Working together on how to best approach this will result in better compliance by enhancing Canadians’ perception of the CRA. He remarked that the CRA will be reasonable in its attitude around compliance by using risk management approaches and by employees projecting fairness and compassion in its dealings with clients. He looks forward to seeing the momentum continue with ongoing dialogue about the service culture and he said that this was a fruitful area to include the unions.


The CSO provided information about her role, and activities that have taken place to date, including the engagement of staff. She stated that her role will be to lead the renewal of CRA’s service agenda through an integrated, client-centric approach that will span across all of CRA’s activities. She stated that this will notably be done through the development and implementation of an overarching and integrated service policy framework that will put taxpayers and benefit recipients at the center of program and service design, and view their experience across the continuum of CRA’s activities. She said that this service policy framework will guide service transformation initiatives, delivery of programs and management of CRA’s service channels. This will help us have a better pulse on taxpayers’ expectations and needs, and how effective we are in meeting them. She stated that we will be looking at this through a service transformation lens; by better understanding our clients’ needs and expectations and by using next generation technology, we will be asking how to transform CRA’s services. Understanding and incorporating feedback about CRA’s services and programs will be an essential element. The CSO said that it will involve the development and implementation of a mechanism to better integrate and analyse taxpayers’ and employees’ feedback, regarding CRA’s services and programs. She stated that when she was appointed to the role of CSO, the first step she took was to have a better understanding of the issues and areas of challenges in delivering the services to clients. She said that this was done by analyzing public opinion research and looking at employee survey results. She said that over the course of the 2017-2018 fiscal year, a grassroots engagement was then conducted to further discuss CRA’s service culture and how it can be strengthened. This work helped senior management shift their thinking from a cultural perspective, and an overall approach to how the CRA wants to move forward, demonstrating how CRA’s practices and decisions shape the behaviour of its workforce. The CSO stated that recognizing the importance and the power of engagement at the grassroots level, CRA’s Service Council has recently been established. The CSO stated that it was formed at the beginning of October 2018 following the results of a call letter sent through the Assistant Commissioners. Employees were asked to provide a short application that involved putting their name forward and explaining why service was important to them. A diversity lens was taken when identifying the membership of this council, including ensuring representation from CRA’s networks such as the Young Professionals Network, the MG Network, the LGBTQ2+, and inclusive grassroots movements within the CRA. She said it is comprised of about 30 employees at all groups and levels from across the branches and regions who are passionate about service. It will serve as a forum to share feedback on a number of cross-functional service concepts, and support change management efforts and the service culture shift. She stated that Service Council members will act as service ambassadors across the CRA and be responsible for laying the foundation for a larger network of employees in their workplace. She stated that all of these initiatives will be leveraged by the CSO Secretariat to ensure that the voice of employees is heard and taken into consideration in the design of CRA’s renewed focus on service. She expects a systematic roll-out of the service policy framework to maintain engagement of clients and employees throughout.


The President, AFS Group, recalled a time when employees were expected to start referring to taxpayers as clients, and then this stopped. He recalled that this initiative improved relationships with taxpayers and that interactions are more respectful and cordial. He remarked that a focus on the service agenda is a positive initiative. He expressed disappointment that the unions representing employees at the CRA were not approached to participate on the Service Council.


The Toronto Region AFS Representative remarked on the composition of the Service Council. He stated that the landscape of the country is changing rapidly and becoming very diverse and he asked whether the Service Council was representative of the diversity of CRA’s client base.



Action Items:

  • The CSO will include the union in its dialogue on service culture.


  1. Discrimination and Harassment


The Commissioner stated that discrimination and harassment is an important topic. It is also important to the Clerk of the Privy Council who released a report on                 August 14, 2018, titled Safe Workspaces. He remarked that there are some positive elements at the CRA. He was concerned by unreported allegations of discrimination and harassment and said that the CRA takes this quite seriously. He remarked that the CRA has policies and programs in place, however, he questioned whether there was enough awareness. He is looking for innovative ideas to make CRA’s workplace safe, respectful and healthy. The Commissioner noted that the Discrimination and Harassment Centre of Expertise (DHCE) is seen as a best practice. He noted a common objective of having employees place trust and confidence that the CRA will do the right things. He also referred to the Tiger Team, a working group that is looking at this issue. He stated that as employees feel more trust and confidence in the process it may lead to more complaints. He recognized that the CRA needs to find ways to deal with complaints, even if on the face of them, they may not be discrimination and harassment. The union has the full commitment from CRA’s senior executives on this matter. 


The President, AFS Group, stated the union is concerned with continuing delays in addressing harassment and discrimination complaints by the DHCE and requested management’s plans to address these issues. He was pleased to acknowledge the efforts of the DHCE in developing products in increasing awareness of discrimination and harassment and he understood a pilot was underway in the Prairie Region. He expressed disappointment in the handling of discrimination and harassment complaints. Based on the union’s observations, the DHCE has caused long delays and has spread inaccurate information about the process for filing and handling harassment-related grievances. He stated that AFS Group members subjected to harassment are not required to complete the Discrimination and Harassment Allegations Form before filing a grievance, in accordance with sub-paragraph 34.05 of the collective agreement. He also stated that AFS Group members are entitled to have their grievance heard at every level of the grievance procedure in accordance with sub-paragraph 34.07 of the collective agreement, in spite of statements made by the DHCE that grievances will not be responded to until supplemental forms are completed. He stated that this feedback had been communicated to management. He expressed that these delays are unacceptable and harassment concerns are not being addressed by the current process. He said this was unsatisfactory and expressed disappointment that the CRA had not accepted the union’s offer to work together to improve this situation. All these factors point to the fact that the provisions of the collective agreement should stipulate that all forms of harassment are unacceptable, and not just sexual harassment. This will remain a top priority for the union. It was also his expectation that Bill C-65 will confirm the union’s long standing position that harassment is in fact workplace violence and that the union will be considering options available to it including the filing of Regulation XX complaints under the Canada Labour Code for all harassment cases. He stated that the AFS Group is interested in continuing to work with management to improve the handling of discrimination and harassment complaints, however, he requested immediate action to improve the situation. He remarked that AFS Group members do not deserve to have discrimination and harassment continue year after year without it being addressed. He expressed concern with the suppression of data. The union feels it very convenient to have this information withheld. He said it makes it difficult for union representatives to perform their duties. He indicated that this matter was being raised with PIPSC’s legal representative for further review.


The AC, HRB stated that the introduction of the DHCE was a positive step towards reducing the fear of reprisal that employees may have when submitting complaints and improving impartiality of the resolution process. He said that DHCE employees are subject matter experts removed from labour relations and regional management to provide impartial advice and guidance to employees and managers. These impartial resources screen allegations of discrimination and harassment; recommend to delegated managers whether to investigate allegations; and, review final investigation reports and processes to ensure procedural fairness. He stated that the DHCE plays an important neutral role in the resolution process. He also stated that enhancing the capacity of the DHCE has been one of his priorities. He said that he initiated the shift of resources to the DHCE and its initial capacity has tripled. He also submitted a funding proposal to stabilize it further.


The AC, HRB said that with more resources and reorganization of work processes, the DHCE has been able to eliminate the back log in addressing complaints. He reported that the inventory of files has been reduced to 38 files received in the DHCE’s workload. He said that a total of 23 files are on hold due to extended absences or the use of informal conflict resolution, and a total of 15 files are active. He said that the DHCE is now better equipped to carry out its value-added role without contributing to delays in the process. He said that having capacity in the DHCE is one of many elements in the action plan, shared with the union in February 2018, which will contribute to a timely resolution process. He reported that progress was made on many of them. For instance, the service level agreement with the Public Affairs Branch (PAB) to improve timeliness of the vetting process was finalized and came into effect June 1, 2018; and, PAB and HRB will have a touch point meeting this fall to assess the results of this new approach. He also addressed the concern that was raised regarding harassment statistics. The CRA has developed confidentiality practices to ensure the protection of taxpayer and employee confidentiality and also HRB revised its data publishing practices. One of the practices put in place was the suppression of data for the protection of personal information when working with aggregate data. The application of this practice was recently applied to the discrimination and harassment statistical report requested by the AFS Group because, while statistical reporting at the CRA may not appear to directly reveal personal information, a concern exists where individuals could be identified or derived from aggregate data. He noted that LRD had a discussion with the union on this practice. He stated that with respect to training, the CRA has made the current online training mandatory for all executives, managers and supervisors this fiscal year. He was pleased that the union shares the view that discrimination and harassment training, with a focus on awareness, prevention and restoration of the workplace, would be of value for employees. He said that collaborating with the union to develop and deliver this training would be ideal while continuing to work towards improvements to the resolution process. He stated that on September 13, 2018, the union received the updated version of the revised allegations form which incorporates feedback from both national unions. This updated form includes the role of the union in the process. It also includes a template letter intended to promote the use of Informal Conflict Resolution (ICR) after allegations of discrimination or harassment have been filed. It includes specific instructions to managers regarding expected consultations with ICR, in an effort to restore the workplace by addressing any ongoing conflict within their teams whether or not allegations have been screened in or not. Finally, the union was provided with additional targeted revisions to the Discrimination and Harassment Resolution Process to improve timeliness of the process, enhance the restoration of the workplace and in some cases provide for additional clarification. The AC, HRB thanked the AFS Group for its feedback provided on September 26, 2018, and addressed the concerns raised by the union on the use of the Discrimination and Harassment Allegations Form. He stated that, most importantly, the use of the submission form is not obligatory and is simply encouraged as a valuable tool for employees to use, with the assistance of their union representatives, to present their allegations in the most efficient and complete manner. He stated that although he strongly encourages the use of this form and believes that it is in the best interest of employees to use, he committed to review the wording in the resolution process to ensure that it is clear the form is not a requirement in the context of the grievance process. He committed to keep the union updated on the progress of this review and additional action plan initiatives at future meetings.





Action Items:

  • The AC, HRB will review the wording in the resolution process to ensure it is clear that the Discrimination and Harassment Allegations Form is not a requirement in the context of the grievance process.
  • The AC, HRB committed to provide updates to the union about the progress of additional action plan initiatives at future NUMCC meetings.


  1. AFS Classification Matters


The AC, HRB reported that at the first meeting of the working group in December 2017, it was decided that a strategy of examining one standard at a time would allow for the best clarity of results. The consultation methodology was also established; management and the union would consult with their respective parties regarding the standard in question, then meet to discuss their findings together. He said that the Organizational Design and Classification Division (ODCD) also conducted internal relativity and standard analyses for each standard examined. He stated that this methodology was used for consultations regarding the Actuarial Science (AC) and Financial Officer (FI) groups. He also stated that for the Management/Gestion (MG) group, a new methodology was explored, whereby ODCD representatives attended the PIPSC-AFS Group consultation session, and a PIPSC-AFS Group representative attended some of CRA’s consultations. He understood that this methodology was developed after much consultation and discussion between the parties. While these discussions delayed the anticipated reporting timelines to this committee, he was pleased to see another example of how, when we have open, and respectful dialogue, we can find innovative solutions. He provided an update on the working group’s findings to date. He said that the AC and FI standards are old and do not reflect the four factors required by the Canadian Human Rights Act. The four required factors are Skill, Effort, Responsibility, and Working Conditions. They do generally measure the most important aspects of the work. However, there are elements of the work that have evolved, and are not represented in the standard. He said that while the MG standard does reflect the four factors, it does not capture the most important aspects of the work. He said that of the 16 elements the standard uses to rate MG jobs, only two relate to management. He noted that when issues were found, wherever possible, the CRA took steps to address them. For example, regarding the FI standard, it was noticed that some documents necessary for the evaluation were missing from the classification files. The CRA took immediate steps to rectify this. There were no impacts on the ratings of the jobs. Also for the FI standard, an information session was given to Classification Advisors to ensure consistency in the application of the standard. With respect to the comparability study, he stated that the CRA was proceeding with the union’s proposed vendor. He expressed that this was another example of the outcome of positive union-management relations.


The President, AFS Group, stated that classification reform was necessary to completing the last round of collective bargaining. This is no less important to AFS Group members today. He said that the union agreed with the update provided by management under this topic. He said that the work has demonstrated the existing classification standards are seriously flawed and do not reflect the realities of the modern workplace. The union looked forward to continuing this work with Classification.


  1. Employee Assistance Program


The President, AFS Group, requested an update to the union’s request to making Employee Assistance Program (EAP) contact information accessible on CRA’s external website outside of employees’ working hours. He remarked that this need was clearly shown during some recent unfortunate critical incidents, which can occur at any time. He noted that the Department of National Defence has made its EAP contact information accessible on its external website and he would like to see the CRA follow through on this request. 


The AC, HRB recognized that this issue was first raised by the Vice-President and Atlantic Representative during the March 2018 EAP National Advisory Committee meeting. Since then, a number of updates have been provided to both unions regarding the efforts in making EAP contact information more readily accessible to employees who are travelling or not at work, and to their family members. He stated that the project is still in the Business Analysis phase in Shared Services Canada (SSC). He summarized the steps that have been taken to date. He said that two 1-833 numbers (one for the Teletypewriter) were reserved for the EAP. The number will feature an Interactive Voice Response (IVR), which will ask the caller to identify their language and the region they are calling from. Based on the caller’s input, the call will be transferred to their respective External Service Provider. He said a work order request for the IVR was submitted and subsequently approved by SSC. He stated that we are now awaiting the cost recovery agreement from SSC. He stated that posting EAP contact information on CRA’s external site is one of the many initiatives underway, with the goal of making EAP contact information more readily available, as shared with the unions in June 2018. These solutions include a revised EAP page on KnowHow, featuring a contact list that will generate a Quick Response (QR) code as well as a printable card option. He said that employees will be able to scan the QR code with their smartphone to add their own regional EAP contact information to their personal contacts. The note for the printable cards will instruct employees to print cards for themselves and their family members. In addition, a brief EAP awareness video will be released and will include an image of a smartphone with EAP as a contact. He said that the launch timeline for these initiatives is early November 2018. He stated that as for the posting of EAP contact information on CRA’s external site, the anticipated timeline is April 2019. He committed to keeping the union informed as things progress on this file.



Action Items:

  • The AC, HRB committed to providing the union with updates as the file progresses.


  1. Public Service Employee Survey (PSES)


The PSES Champion thanked the Toronto Region AFS Representative and the AFS Group for their support in encouraging employees to provide their feedback through the PSES. He stated that the PSES took place from August 20, 2018, to September 28, 2018, and was extended by an additional week to October 5, 2018. He stated that CRA’s preliminary response rate for the complete survey period was 67.4%. He said that communication efforts throughout the survey period included updating InfoZone pages and working extensively with the National Steering Committee (NSC) members. The PSES Champion stated that during the survey, questions were received from NSC members, as well as directly from employees, on the topics of privacy and confidentiality and defining senior management. On the question of defining senior management, TBS has maintained it would like to keep the definition as flexible as possible to account for the varying organizational structures of other government departments. Based on internal canvassing at the CRA, senior management was thought to be Director-level and above. He stated that the results for the 2018 PSES will be available in February 2019. The PSES Champion said that the CRA did not adopt a formal CRA-wide action plan and opted to adopt a results in action approach by inviting Regional and Branch Champions and various CRA networks and grassroots movements within the CRA to link specific actions to the PSES results. He stated that initial discussions on 2018 PSES results took place over the summer, and follow-up meetings will take place in November 2018. He also acknowledged that this reality will be reflected in the 2019 PSES results. He hoped to be in a position to react more quickly in 2019. He has indicated that some of these issues are currently being tackled. For example, he said that CRA’s Well-being Champion launched an engagement forum as a way to have a dialogue on civility and workplace wellness. Also, the Assistant Commissioner, Finance and Administration Branch, has launched a civility pledge. He stated that these actions are not formed in an overall action plan, but are linked to PSES results. He stated that the NSC will continue to meet and tackle these issues. He also said the union’s ongoing input on how to approach this was greatly appreciated. He looks forward to providing an update at a future meeting. 


The Toronto Region AFS Representative remarked being pleased with the availability of and participation at the touch-point meetings. He said that they were helpful in answering questions from the field, in particular the question around defining senior management. He said that with the collaboration of the PSES team, he was able to be proactive in resolving those questions. He stated that it was important to have a grasp on the areas of success and areas of improvement for the CRA. He stated that CRA’s action plan has to be relevant for the entire population. He asked the CRA not to take a segmented approach to the action plan. He stated that if the CRA focused only on its networks, which account for approximately 15% of the employee population, it will miss out on representing 85% of employees in the action plan. He remarked that while the results of this survey are another opportunity to look at issues such as discrimination and harassment, many of these issues have not changed since 2011. He looks forward to opportunities to tackle these issues in other forums. He also stated that there are opportunities to react faster than in the past because the trends have been established by past surveys. He suggested using committees and touch-point meetings to discuss those trends. He expects that when the results are released, some of these issues may have already been tackled.


The Québec Region AFS Representative remarked that the challenge with an annual survey will be to obtain the results in a timely manner to articulate and implement an action plan. He questioned whether senior management will have enough time to implement an action plan before the 2019 PSES. He recognized that this timeframe is creating pressure not only for management but also for the union to address the results of the 2018 PSES.


The Commissioner underlined the importance of listening, reflecting and then taking action. He expressed that this new reality is an opportunity to take action in an agile and flexible manner on issues of concern to CRA employees, and to demonstrate that these actions are linked to the PSES. 



Action Items:

  • The PSES Champion will provide an update on the 2018 PSES results at an upcoming NUMCC.


Closing Remarks


The Commissioner thanked all participants for a good and constructive exchange on issues of mutual interest.


The President, AFS Group expressed being pleased at seeing the Union-Management Approach being reinvigorated as it is critical to working together to resolve issues at the lowest possible level. He expressed that there is a shared goal of reducing incidents that lead to disciplinary action. He noted that changes were recently made to the Table of disciplinary measures, which the union was consulted on. He expressed that very few employees in the field were aware of these changes. He suggested that there may be opportunities for additional communications to the field around these changes. He also emphasized the importance of collective bargaining to the AFS Group members and he stated the union will do everything it can to facilitate a timely resolution of the collective bargaining process.



Original signed by:



Original signed by:

Bob Hamilton


Canada Revenue Agency




Doug Mason


Audit, Financial and Scientific Group

Professional Institute of the Public   Service of Canada


Date: January 21, 2019


Date: February 18, 2019