Things are still quite hectic at the UHEW National Office and we continue to deal with a few major issues and what seems like a million other ones. Many members are contacting me and Sister Shimen, our National President, to enquire about the Phoenix settlement and the taxation of these benefits. Let me say first of all that we share your frustration. It seems like the federal government can’t seem to get anything right about this fiasco, not even when they were supposed to be acknowledging the pain and suffering of their own employees. They have even made a mess of that.
The latest from PSAC is that they have decided to submit their own declaration of facts to CRA directly, along with case law addressing the awarding of damages and those damages not being subject to taxation. CRA traditionally only engages with employers to provide opinions of taxability, but it is possible that they may choose to consider the new facts that we provide them.
To follow the progress of these discussions please visit: http://psacunion.ca/phoenix
Two other big files are getting a lot of my time and attention these days. One is Bill C-65 which brought about changes to the Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations of the Canada Labour Code. Sister Shimen is leading the work on this file with our departments but I have been tasked with trying to ensure that our employers and departments provide the training that is necessary for managers, employees and union representatives can take advantage of the many new protections under this legislation. We have made much progress but much more work needs to be done on this file. Stay tuned.
The other thing we have been working on is to try and find a more balanced workload for the Labour Relations Officers at the UHEW National Office. Our LRO’s do excellent work on behalf of the membership and we want to ensure that their particular expertise is put to maximum effect in those efforts. Working collaboratively with the LRO we were are designing a new approach that we hope will help them to help even more UHEW members resolve their problems.
Always happy to hear from you.
Help us build UHEW together!!