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Ministry of Finance Taxing Times: March 2010

Human Resources Agreement reached for HST transition

Taxing Times : A newsletter for OPSEU members working for the Ministry of Finance

After originally being advised that the Human Resources Agreement (HRA) would be concluded almost four months ago, the Ministry of Revenue and Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) have released the HRA for the transfer of staff from the province of Ontario to CRA.  The good news is that everyone impacted by the divestment will receive a job offer from CRA.  All members will be transferring into the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) bargaining unit at CRA, which puts all staff in the Service and Programs (SP) classifications. 

The other good news is that CRA intends to provide jobs in Durham Region for our members in Durham.

The transfer to the federal government will unfold in two waves.  In the first, some employees will be transferred in November, 2010; the second will shift to the CRA in March, 2012.  Every member will have the option of declining a CRA offer in favour of being surplused in accordance with article 20 of the OPSEU collective agreement. This option exists because CRA will not be recognizing your seniority for relative rights like competitions.  Your years of service will be recognized for the purpose of things such as benefits, including vacation.  Benefits, sick leave, and long term disability are all defined in the HRA.

As you go through the documents provided by the Ministry, you may notice that your transferred salary will be higher than your incoming classification.  This is where the PSAC salary protection language kicks in.  You will be red circled until your classification reaches your current salary – or five years – whichever comes first.

You are also invited to attend an HRA information session that will explain the details you need to know.  We encourage everyone to attend.  The info sessions will help you understand everything you will need to know in making a decision about your future. 

Partially Impacted Groups

If you are in a position where only some incumbents are transferring to the CRA you may not be invited to the sessions this week.  Only the least senior people in these impacted positions are being invited.  We believe this is information you need to know.  This is because while more senior members have guaranteed OPS jobs, they may elect to go the CRA ahead of the less senior incumbents. Under these circumstances you, too, need to get the information necessary to make an informed decision.

Ask your manager what the session was about; ask the Change Management and Transition Advisor (CMTA); and ask your union steward any questions you may have.  Everyone should be available to you to help you decide if you want to be part of the group transferring to CRA. 

Employer Education

The employer is prepared to assist people in getting the courses needed to transfer to CRA which are required for the positions into which you will be transferring. The information provided outlines the courses included in this category. Don’t hesitate to follow through with the employer to help you get the most appropriate employment with CRA. 

Special Considerations

Please pay close attention to the following points in the job transition process:

  • CRA will be doing security checks on all members included in the transfer.  This will include a Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) check.  The recent Ontario security check process will not be transferred to CRA.

  • You will be required to pass the federal French-language test to remain in a designated bilingual position.  If you do not pass that test, you will be placed in a unilingual position in the same classification.  This will mean you will not receive the French language bonus at CRA.

  • PSAC’s contract expires on October 31, 2010.  The federal union will be negotiating the future salaries of the SP classifications within those negotiations. 

  • The employer does not intend to offer the appendix 9 enhanced severance for members transferring to CRA.  Your entitlement under article 53 in 1 week for every year of service up until December 31, 2008.


The COR working Group

Lorne Woodhouse


Mississauga, Hamilton, North Bay, Sudbury

Moira Cowan


Kitchener, London, Windsor

Betty Marchegiano


Oshawa Campus, Ottawa, Thunderbay.

Lisa Kingston


North York,  Etobicoke

Rhonda Weagle


Whitby, Pickering

Cameron Walker


OPSEU Senior Job Security Officer