Our Team and Employer made final arguments on November 23, 2017.
As per the Public Service Labour Relations Act, our FB Bargaining Team filed for conciliation earlier this year when it became clear that the employer was not prepared to seriously address our issues, including parity with other law enforcement agencies and matters related to hours of work such as protections for compressed work weeks, VSSAs and telework.
With the PIC mediation attempt having failed in October, we proceeded to hearing on November 2 and 6 at the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Employment Board (FPSLREB). On Thursday November 23 we wrapped up our hearing before the PIC. Over the course of these hearings our bargaining team made our case for compensation parity with other law enforcement agencies across Canada, including other federal agencies under the Ministry of Public Safety. We also made the case – repeatedly – that there are serious problems at CBSA and that in light of these, we seek new rights for employees particularly as they pertain to discipline, hours of work and arming.
On Thursday, Treasury Board/CBSA continued to push for concessions concerning hours of work, VSSA negotiations and leave provisions. The employer also continued to take the position that there are no recruitment or retention issues at CBSA. Again, we were crystal clear with the PIC that we do not agree, and we provided evidence demonstrating ongoing problems at CBSA.
Now that the hearings are over, we await a recommendation from the PIC. Unlike arbitration, the recommendation is non-binding. While the legislation provides for the PIC to issue its recommendation within 30 days of the hearing, the Chair may ask for an extension. Given the number of issues outstanding, there was some indication that the Chair may exercise this prerogative. We will be sure to update as things progress.
Congrats to those members who picketed the office of Finance Minister Bill Morneau in Toronto on November 23, to those who handed out flyers in Cornwall on November 24, and to those union members elsewhere in the country taking action in support of a fair contract. For more information on lobbying efforts and other activities, contact a member of our bargaining team, your CIU Branch President or go to psacunion.ca/employer/fb-group.
A version of this article was first published on the PSAC website.