FB bargaining: No trust in CBSA; team rejects concessions to hours of work

January 23, 2020
Photo of a border services officer with the words bargaining - FB group

The FB bargaining team continued their push to make Canada Border Services Agency a better place to work during talks with Treasury Board/CBSA the week of January 20, but the employer still refuses to budge on any meaningful improvements.

Our team highlighted issues around:

Name tags

The employer still insists that officers must display their names on name tags. Our team reiterated that this practice puts officers at risk and is unacceptable.

Medical notes

Our bargaining team firmly opposes the need for medical notes when employees are sick. CBSA shouldn’t be asking employees to provide medical notes, and if the Agency wants one provided, they should reimburse members for it.

Paid meal period

The employer rejected our proposal for a paid meal period, but we’re maintaining our position. Officers have to tool-up and tool-down for lunch; otherwise they have to wear their tools during lunch. Given this reality, meal periods should be paid like other law enforcement agencies.
Paid time for firearm practice: Our team is seeking to have paid firearm practice time provided to officers under the collective agreement equivalent to two shifts per year.

Seniority and work location

There are significant problems with the way management assigns officers to new locations. Across Canada, there are officers who are looking to work in different parts of the country. But right now, management passes over senior officers for these assignments and even places new hires in locations where union members are looking to work. We are seeking a fair and transparent process where officers can exercise their seniority if they wish to change districts or regions.

Telework

We again raised the issue of telework for our non-uniformed members. Our team does not understand why CBSA chiefs and superintendents get their telework approved regularly, while non-frontline staff who require an accommodation are denied telework. This is yet another example of the double standard at CBSA, where management gets preferential treatment over employees. We want language in the contract to address this issue.

VSSAs

CBSA is proposing that VSSAs should no longer be negotiated, but rather run through a ‘consultation’ process with our union. All too often at CBSA, ‘consultation’ means ‘impose’. We told CBSA “No” and rejected their proposal. Our team doesn’t trust CBSA management with our hours of work.

We also discussed student issues, the dog hander allowance and reiterated our position concerning pension reform.

To review the package of proposals that we tabled as well as those of the employer, visit: psacunion.ca/fb-group. We’ll continue to provide updates during our next bargaining session the week of February 23. To see other updates on Treasury Board bargaining, check out psacunion.ca/treasury-board.

We stand 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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