Author Archives: Nova Admin

19th National Convention – July 8, 9 and 10, 2021

2021 CIU Convention Banner

The National Convention, which is the supreme governing body of our Union, is held once every three years and provides an opportunity for all CIU members to become involved in the operation and future of their Union. Although the Convention initially planned for October 2020 had to be postponed, we are pleased to announce that the event has been rescheduled to July 2021. Given the pandemic, the event will be held virtually.

We invite you to see the following documents for more information:

PSAC FB Team Pushing for ‘25 and Out’ Pension Commitment

CBSA is a Law Enforcement agency. Officers working at CBSA should be afforded the same pension benefit as other enforcement workers.

In negotiations this week with Treasury Board/CBSA our FB Bargaining Team reiterated that we are seeking a commitment from CBSA and Treasury Board that will support an early retirement plan similar to what is in place for other federal law enforcement personnel. In light of the work that we do, and in light of the employer’s legal obligation to place officers that require accommodation, we believe that such a retirement arrangement is not only in the interest of employees in the FB bargaining unit, but is also in fact in the interest of the Agency.

Day Workers
There are a number of locations across the country where CBSA management has been revoking or canceling compressed work weeks and flexible working arrangements – from Inland Enforcement to Trade Compliance to Hearings Officers. Our Team discussed again the need for our new contract to provide new protections in this area.

VACIS and HCVM
This week our Team reminded management that the employer cannot make unilateral changes without first gaining the union’s consent. Consequently we notified the employer that should the Agency attempt to contract out work associated with VACIS and HCVM, we will contact our legal counsel.

Student Work
We made proposals that would require the union to be involved in the assigning of student work, and would protect union jobs from being held by students.

Sick Leave
We addressed the ongoing sick leave issue this week by stating that we continue to seek either a renewal or improvements to the current sick leave regime. We made it clear that any improvements would need to be contained in the collective agreement. We reiterated that the underlying purpose of a sick leave system is to ensure that workers are not forced to choose between going to work sick or collecting a pay cheque.

WFA
We reiterated to the employer that we are seeking significant changes to the Workforce Adjustment Appendix. Our demands seek to preserve and improve public services, enhance protections against involuntary departures and ensure that our seniority be recognized.

We are next scheduled to meet in bargaining the week of April 11th. We’ll be sure to update as things progress.

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PA bargaining: minimal interest from the employer

Our PA bargaining team met Treasury Board at the bargaining table this week with renewed determination. Unfortunately, the employer continued to display minimal interest in responding to our proposals.

Treasury Board did signal it is considering some very small movements in response to union demands in certain leave provisions, as well as improved notice provisions in the discipline article. But mostly, the Employer remained focused on sick leave concessions and complained that we had too many demands at the bargaining table.

Our bargaining team reiterated the objective to come to the table every three years or so to improve wages and working conditions and resolve problems. We tabled new language on student employment and reviewed with the employer our proposals on maternity and parental leave.

Treasury Board withdrew its demand to remove the PM-7 wage grid from the collective agreement. Our team understands there are currently no PA members at the PM-7 level, but we cannot be sure that this classification will not be populated in the future.

Work Force Adjustment: We reiterated the need for significant changes to the Workforce Adjustment Appendix in this round of bargaining. Our demands seek to make the rules more transparent and reduce the significant anxiety the process causes workers. We are also looking to preserve and improve public services, enhance protections against involuntary departures and ensure that seniority is recognized.

Sick Leave: We addressed the ongoing sick leave issue this week by stating that we continue to seek either a renewal or improvements to the current sick leave regime. We made it clear that any improvements would need to be contained in the collective agreement. We reiterated that the underlying purpose of a sick leave system is to ensure that workers are not forced to choose between going to work sick or collecting a pay cheque.

We will be back at the table the week of April 11, 2016. Stay informed by visiting psacunion.ca/pa

Update Regarding Workplace Accommodation

On February 17, 2016, members of the CIU National Executive, Sister Lisa Addario (PSACLegal Officer), Brother Murray Star (EO Representative), Brother Bruno Loranger (Labour Relations Officer) and the employer met to discuss accommodations and issues related to Appendix G-1.

In CIU’s update of January 7, we provided the following list of duties as being suitable for accommodated members at level:

  • Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
  • Alternate Inspection Services (AIS) Risking
  • NEXUS Enrolment Centres
  • Inland Enforcement Officer (no road duty)
  • Commercial (back office)
  • Telephone Reporting Centres
  • Hearing Advisors
  • Postal Operations
  • National Targeting Centre

We also indicated that CBSA was looking at the suitability of other positions for accommodated members, namely those of Instructor duties at training centres and desk duties for Intelligence Officers and Investigators.

CBSA has indicated that it will consider accommodating members in these positions. It should be pointed out that several members are already being accommodated at Rigaud. The employer has also stated that it may want to place some of our members there whose positions will be (or have been) eliminated with the closure of firearm training facilities in Prince Edward Island and at Slack Road.

Regardless of the list of duties deemed suitable, it bears repeating that members who are already in accommodated positions that do not involve face to face enforcement interactions with clients will remain in those positions.

While CBSA is willing to consider accommodating desk duties for Intelligence Officers and Investigators (in addition to Rigaud and the other duties listed above), it has indicated that all must be considered on a case by case basis. For some duties, several positions may be available while for others (e.g. Inland Enforcement Officer – no road duty), the number may be limited. CBSA further clarified that it needs to take into account the viability of suggested accommodations and must also meet financial, regional and operational requirements. Obviously, members who are placed in these positions must also have the necessary skills and knowledge (e.g. language, specialized training) to do the job.

The employer believes it has made great progress in accommodating those 108 officers who had been performing face to face enforcement but could not pass the DFC training. However, it also acknowledges that there will be other officers similarly situated who, in the future, will require accommodation.

It is the employer’s position that if a member is registered for DFC and is “trainable”, that member can remain in his/her position beyond March 31, 2016. The employer defined “trainable” as a member who either: a) has been scheduled to go to DFC; b) has failed DFC but is being provided with remedial support from the employer; or c) is in the process of obtaining their CAT III.

The employer agreed to remove the requirement for a CAT III medical for members working in postal operations.

CIU also raised concerns about CBSA requiring members to go to a Health Canada doctor for their CAT III. CIU reminded the employer that there is no legal requirement for our members to see the company Doctor.

If a member has failed the MMPI twice, CIU encourages that member to speak with a CIU Labour Relations Officer to determine next steps.

Members who do not want to attend DFC training but who plan to retire in the short term should discuss this with their Branch President. Together, they can approach the employer to discuss possible retirement dates/interim solutions. Again, note that this will be considered on a case by case basis. Note also that the shorter the period requested, the more likely it is to be approved.

The employer repeated that it had no intention of demoting accommodated officers or lowering their pay and added that such rumours were “science fiction”. They also agreed to speak with regional management team members and CIU Branch Presidents in regions where such rumours had been reported. Both parties acknowledged that where management included the union in discussions with affected members, the process had gone smoothly. CIU reminded the employer that it was to its benefit to have the union involved. The employer agreed to make it clear to its affected employees that the union was available and on hand to participate in such meetings.

CIU again confirmed with the employer the principles upon which it agreed to participate in these discussions: that members who were already in accommodated positions would continue in those positions; members would be accommodated at level, with no loss of salary or benefits; and members would be offered meaningful work.

PA bargaining: new government, few changes at the table

The PA bargaining team came back to Ottawa with high hopes for a more productive bargaining relationship with the new Liberal government. Sadly, the Liberals’ new mandate for negotiations does not seem to be fully developed.
In three days of bargaining with the employer, our bargaining team discussed the definition of contact centres with the employer, as well as PSAC’s proposals for better working conditions in these centres.
We also stressed the importance of creating a joint union-management committee to review, recommend and implement minimum standards for working conditions in these contact centres.
Our union’s proposals for Article 25 – hours of work, and particularly the demand for shift scheduling by seniority, was another focus of discussion.

We will not trade away sick leave’
Treasury Board negotiators tabled a proposal similar to that of the previous Conservative government, that would replace our existing sick leave plan. It takes away existing rights and leaves members worse off. The proposed short term disability plan would fall outside of the collective agreement and allow the government to make unilateral changes any time.
We remain open to improvements on sick leave but we will not negotiate concessions or agree to any proposal that forces members to choose between losing pay or going to work sick.

Fair bargaining and Bill C4
We are pleased to see the government move to repeal Bill C-59 (division 20), but there is still another unfair labour law on the books. The unconstitutional changes to labour laws governing the collective bargaining process under C-4 remain a key issue.
It is a mystery why the government is not repealing this legislation in light of the clear pronouncements made by the Supreme Court in the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour case. We will continue to move forward with our litigation and take all necessary steps to ensure that there is free and fair collective bargaining for the federal public service.
At the bargaining table, PSAC will continue to focus on measures to improve the delivery and quality of public services and make the federal public service an efficient and healthy place to work. This benefits all Canadians.

Bargaining schedule
The bargaining schedule has increased in frequency from every two months to approximately every five weeks. We will be back at the table the week of March 7 and again the week of April 11.
Visit psacunion.ca/pa for updates.
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