Author Archives: Pierre St-Jacques

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation: Uncovering the Truth of Le Estcwicwéy̓

September 30 marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a day to remember missing Indigenous children and survivors across Canada who were taken from their families and forced to attend residential schools.

These missing children are Le Estcwicwéy̓, which translates to “the missing” in the language of the Tk‘emlúpsemc people in British Columbia.

In a letter to Gary Anandasangaree, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, PSAC urges the federal government to expand the search to all former residential school sites using ground-penetrating radar, and to implement Calls to Action 71-76 in Volume 4 of the TRC Final Report: Missing Children and Unmarked Burials.

Together, we must uncover the truth of Le Estcwicwéy̓, honour their memory, and take concrete steps towards reconciliation.

Show your support 

  • Sign the petition urging the federal government to accelerate their efforts and search all former residential school sites and surrounding areas using ground penetrating radar to find other unmarked graves.
  • Write a letter to your local newspaper or share your thoughts on social media to support Indigenous communities in their pursuit of truth and justice. Use the hashtags #EveryChildMatters, #NDTR, and #ReconciliationWeek.

Learn more

  • Watch special programming on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) throughout the day on September 30, including informative and insightful series and documentaries, and a live special called “Remembering the Children.”
  • Look for local events and programming in your community to pay homage to the painful legacy and impact of residential schools and reaffirm your commitment to moving forward in unity towards reconciliation and healing.
  • PSAC has also compiled additional resources to use on September 30 and after to learn, reflect, and consider how you can take meaningful action on reconciliation.

The star quilt graphic was designed by Georgina Metzler, an Anishinaabe artist and graphic designer who lives in Calgary, Alberta. Learn more about the artist and the meaning behind the work. 

This article was first posted on the PSAC website.

PSAC-CIU declares impasse in FB bargaining

The PSAC-CIU bargaining team has declared impasse at the bargaining table during talks September 26 and 27 after the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) refused to budge on our key issues and continues to insist on concessions.

Since the outset of bargaining, we have identified key issues for our members to reach a new collective agreement, including:

  • Economic parity with the broader law-enforcement community;
  • Protections for our jobs and new protections in the context of CBSA management’s heavy-handed approach to discipline;
  • Access to telework for our members;
  • New rights around VSSAs and shift scheduling.

The employer refused to move on these key issues.

We’ve also repeatedly made it clear at the table: If the employer is serious about working towards a fair deal, the Treasury Board President must honour the commitment made during the last round of bargaining and make equitable retirement — 25 and out — a reality for our members.

Throughout bargaining, we’ve pushed for economic increases that match other public safety agencies across the country. This will address outstanding recruitment and retention issues at CBSA.

Shockingly, when discussing wages and allowances, the employer stated that CBSA has “no recruitment or retention problems”. Every FB member from coast to coast to coast knows that CBSA has serious issues attracting and retaining workers. We live it every day through understaffing and lack of resources.

PSAC-represented public safety personnel – from Parole Officers to Fisheries Officers to Enforcement and Wildlife Officers – were recognized by receiving additional wage adjustments in the Treasury Board agreements negotiated earlier this year.  But FB members are being told to accept less.

The employer also continues to seek concessions at the table, from clawbacks to shift-change notice and care and nurturing leave, to negotiated shift schedules that would negatively impact our members.

We are committed to negotiating improvements for our members, not steps backwards

We are determined to reach a fair contract, one that protects our hard-fought gains and provides new rights and protections for PSAC-CIU members. We deserve to be treated with respect.

We’ve had enough. Given this lack of progress in negotiations, we have declared impasse, and contacted the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board in an effort to move the process forward.

What’s next?

We will continue to provide updates as things progress. As always, membership support will be the key to getting a fair contract.

Please be sure to keep your contact information up to date to receive all the latest updates about bargaining. If you have any questions, please contact your Customs and Immigration Union branch president or visit the CIU and PSAC websites.

This article was first posted on the PSAC website.

Convention 2023 Day 3: Delegates elect new National Representatives & Alternates

On the last day of the 20th Convention, delegates continued working on Convention business, and elected the 2023-2026 CIU National Executive, Human Rights Representative, Young Worker Representative, and Alternates:

  • National President Mark Weber (acclaimed)
  • 1st National Vice-President Rick Savage (acclaimed)
  • 2nd National Vice-President Brea Baresinkoff (acclaimed)
  • 3rd National Vice-President Yanniv Waknine (acclaimed)
  • 4th National Vice-President Gus Kontogianis (acclaimed)
  • National Human Rights Representative Murray Star (acclaimed)
  • Alternate National Human Rights Representative John Bay (acclaimed)
  • National Young Worker Representative Kevin Kerr (acclaimed)
  • Alternate National Young Worker Representative Janmie Gunawardena (acclaimed)

Congratulations to all!

From left to right: Alternate National Young Worker Representative Janmie Gunawardena, National Young Worker Representative Kevin Kerr, 4th National Vice-President Gus Kontogianis, 3rd National Vice-President Yanniv Waknine, National President Mark Weber, 1st National Vice-President Rick Savage, 2nd National Vice-President Brea Baresinkoff, National Human Rights Representative Murray Star, Alternate National Human Rights Representative John Bay.

See photos of the last day of Convention below (or the main photo feed here) and follow us online with the hashtag #ciusdi2023!

Statement on the death of RCMP Constable in Coquitlam

A member of the law enforcement community, RCMP Constable Rick O’Brien, was killed in the line of duty while performing a search warrant on Friday, September 22, in Coquitlam, B.C. This tragic event is made all the more poignant as it occurred mere days before the Canadian Police and Peace Officers’ Annual Memorial Service, which will take place on Sunday, September 24.

Once more, we are reminded of the selfless nature of public safety and law enforcement work.

Our thoughts are with the larger law enforcement community, as we offer our most sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Constable O’Brien.

Meeting in Ottawa, CIU Convention delegates held a minute of silence for Constable O’Brien on Saturday, September 23.