Fellow CIU members, as National President of CIU, and as a Border Services Officer with over 18 years experience on the front line, I want to thank those CIU members over the last several months who have taken action at their ports, offices and outside their MPs’ offices in support of our fight for a fair contract. Officers from Edmunston, New Brunswick to Douglas, British Columbia and many points in between have participated in demonstrations and rallies in support of our fight.
We have reached a critical stage in our negotiations with CBSA and Treasury Board. It has been a long and frustrating process. We spent two and a half years (CIU and PSAC) before the courts and the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Employment Board defending our collective bargaining rights as we challenged the previous government’s Bill C-4 and Bill C-59.
With other PSAC bargaining units we fought against attacks on our sick leave. We won that fight.
We are awaiting the Public Interest Commission’s recommendation. I want to commend the work of our Bargaining Team in representing us before the Commission. A copy of the brief submitted to the Commission is available on the CIU and PSAC websites.
As we await this recommendation CIU branches across the country have been taking action. MPs’ offices have been lobbied. Rallies have been held outside CBSA ports. The PSAC and CIU have erected billboards in several key locations across the country to inform the public of our fight for parity with the broader law enforcement community.
Fellow FBs, there is a very real chance that we will be taking the next step in the legal process after we receive the PIC recommendation – a strike vote, followed potentially by a strike if we do not reach a fair agreement. Because of our court challenges against the government, we will then have the legal right to engage in a number of worksite activities and pressure tactics that we have been restricted from doing up until now.
Now is the time for us to stand united and show CBSA and Treasury Board our solidarity. We can win this fight, but to do so we must stand together. The victories that we have won in the past – from the arming of officers to VSSAs to a 19.5% wage increase for officers in our first FB contract – all happened because we acted in solidarity.
If you have questions or concerns, or if you have ideas about how we can further pressure elected officials or our employer in this struggle, please speak with your Branch President. Please be sure to monitor the CIU and PSAC websites for regular updates.
CIU National President