FB team denounces disgraceful CBSA discipline video during negotiations

September 20, 2019
Photo of a border services officer with the words bargaining - FB group

Our FB bargaining team called on Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) management to retract a disgraceful video that threatens surveillance of members and harsh disciplinary measures.

The video, warning FB members that “discipline in the workplace happens” and “the consequences may surprise you,” reinforces the need for better protections against harassment and abuse of authority in the FB collective agreement.

Our Public Service Alliance of Canada-Customs and Immigration Union (PSAC-CIU) bargaining team also addressed issues around wages, medical notes, firearms and dog handlers and other key issues during negotiations with Treasury Board/CBSA September 17 to 19.

Discipline

With respect to discipline, our team denounced the recent video released by CBSA management on Atlas. We stated clearly to the employer that CBSA’s obsession with punishment and surveillance – as reflected in the video – is a serious problem, and that such tactics on the part of CBSA only serves to strengthen our union’s resolve to achieve better contract protections against harassment and abuse of authority in CBSA workplaces.

Medical notes and medical/dental appointments

In bargaining we reiterated our demands to protect against excessive management requests for medical notes and pushed for management to pay for medical notes. We also raised issues related to CBSA management’s intrusive questioning when employees take leave for medical and dental appointments.

Firearms and dog handlers

It came to light recently that CBSA has provided paid leave for clerks who volunteer to receive training for the handling of firearms. We pointed out the absurdity of not providing paid time for firearm practice for officers who are required to carry firearms when paid time is being provided for employees who volunteer for certain training. Our position in bargaining is that all officers required to carry a firearm should receive paid firearm practice time. We also again raised issues concerning compensation for dog handlers.

Name tags, telework

We provided additional evidence of the risks associated with requiring officers to wear name tags and explained our position that officers should not be required to provide their names. We also pointed out that the telework policy that has been implemented does not address the issues we’ve raised in bargaining and that we need language in our contract on the issue.

Wages

In light of recent analytical data that has come to light concerning members of the Inland, Intelligence and Investigations community, our team did not table wages this week as more time is needed to conduct our survey of the broader law enforcement community.

We are in the process of setting additional dates. We’ll be sure to update you when we have more information.

To review the package of proposals that we tabled and those of the employer, go to: psacunion.ca/fb-group.

We stand tall for law enforcement

Together as FBs, we’ve achieved incredible victories over the years. PSAC is the largest union in the federal public service, and one of the largest public sector unions in the country.  No other union has more experience in bargaining and representation within the federal public service than PSAC and CIU.

  • We successfully won the right for Border Services Officers to be armed in 2006.
  • Since 2007, PSAC-CIU successfully negotiated a 48% increase in compensation for frontline BSO, including a 17.5% raise in 2018.
  • We won significant new rights for shift workers, including protections in the context of VSSA negotiations and seniority rights.

Standing together, we will continue to work together and hold the CBSA’s feet to the fire to ensure we can continue to make groundbreaking gains for FB members.

The original version of this article was first posted on the PSAC website.


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