Author Archives: Pierre St-Jacques

FB bargaining team pushes for ’25 and out’ retirement, rejects concessions at table

Photo of a border services officer with the words bargaining - FB group

Our PSAC-CIU bargaining team representing the Border Services (FB) group rejected concessions to job security and again pushed for ’25 and out’ retirement during negotiations with Treasury Board/Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) the week of June 10.

Our bargaining team is frustrated that the employer is still unwilling to make meaningful progress on a number of core issues, including fairly compensating new officers (FB-02s), ’25 and out’ retirement and revamping the grievance procedure.

Pension Reform

We have made considerable progress over the past two rounds in our fight for parity with the broader law enforcement community. This week, we reiterated the need for pension reform for union members in the FB group. We are demanding a commitment from Treasury Board in support of pension reform. PSAC-CIU will also be undertaking other initiatives to push pension reform for the FB group during the coming election campaign.

Job Security

Treasury Board has made proposals to undermine the job security language in our contract contained in the Workforce Adjustment Appendix. We rejected the employer’s proposal and instead reiterated our proposals to enhance protections for union members.

We also raised the issue of students being used to undermine our work and public safety. We have made proposals to deal with student-related issues in the workplace.

Grievance Procedure

We’ve tabled demands to streamline the grievance process. There is no need to meet with Chiefs and Superintendents if Ottawa is making the decisions. We should be dealing with the source.

Fairly compensate new officers (FB-02s)

We again stated that Border Services Officers (BSOs), upon completion of their training at Rigaud, should be made FB-03s and compensated accordingly. The FB-02 classification is being used to exploit new officers. They wear the badge. They wear the uniform. They make the decisions. They deserve to be paid and treated accordingly.

Telework

After years of raising the issue of telework access for Trade Compliance Officers and other non-uniformed staff, the CBSA has announced a policy on telework. However, its application is unclear. We reiterated the need for there to be language in the contract on this issue.

We are scheduled to return to the bargaining table July 30 to August 1.

To review the package of proposals that we tabled and those of the employer, go to psacunion.ca/fb. We’ll be sure to provide updates as bargaining progresses.

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

PA, EB, SV & TC bargaining: PSAC continues pursuit of fair collective agreements and proper compensation for Phoenix

Bargaining

The tentative collective agreement settlements reached by the federal Treasury Board with some federal unions this week will not stand in the way of proper compensation for PSAC members who work for the federal government and its agencies, said PSAC National President Chris Aylward.

“Negotiations with Treasury Board for our PA, EB, TC and SV bargaining units are still at impasse, as are our negotiations with the Canada Revenue Agency,” Aylward explained. “We have just had confirmation that the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board is establishing Public Interest Commissions in each case to review the positions of the parties and make recommendations clearing the way for strike votes.”

“We are prepared to go back to the bargaining table at any time, but Treasury Board must show it is prepared to address the important concerns of our members including fair compensation for the Phoenix-related pay problems we have endured for almost four years now,” said Aylward.

The government’s last proposal to increase wages by only 1.5% each year over four years represents a pay cut in real terms. Further, the government’s negotiators continue to pursue contract concessions including the removal of the previously negotiated agreement on mental health.

“PSAC members have given our union bargaining teams a clear mandate to negotiate collective agreement improvements not rollbacks,” said Aylward.

“Our members want the federal government to live up to its promise to treat public service employees and the PSAC, the largest federal union, with respect and address long-standing problems including pay inequities, issues related to work-life balance, and the rise of precarious employment which is putting at risk reliable service to the public,” Aylward said.

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

National Public Service Week: You deserve a fair contract and Phoenix settlement

Cartoon drawing of a loud speaker with the words "let's get this done"

This year’s National Public Service Week (NPSW), being held between June 9 and 15, is happening while 140,000 PSAC members are fighting to reach fair collective agreements and proper compensation for the Phoenix disaster.

While the NPSW is supposed to celebrate and express appreciation for federal workers, the Trudeau government’s actions over the last year have done the opposite:

PSAC encourages members to participate in NPSW events and use them as an opportunity to send a clear signal to government that it has failed its own employees.

With the federal election quickly approaching this fall, there is no better time to send the government a message:

Let’s Get It Done! 

PSAC has created stickers and leaflets to bring home this message during NPSW events across the country — contact your local to get a hold of them.

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

2017: Alternation and age discrimination case

Photo of BSO with the word Victories superimposed

This is the sixth vignette in a series celebrating our union victories.

In a matter of blatant age discrimination by the employer, Diane Legros, who worked for CBSA, sought to alternate with another employee to benefit from a Transition Support Measure. Alternation occurs in a Workforce Adjustment Situation when an employee switches with a person in an ‘opting’ position who wishes to remain in the public service, ‘alternating’ into this job and leaving the public service with a financial payout.

Legros’ request was refused: She was 62 and her manager expected Legros would likely retire soon, at which time her postion could be eliminated. With the support of the union, Sister Legros challenged the manager‘s position, and grieved – twice. The manager persisted, and Legros’ case eventually went to adjudication. It was found that her age was indeed a factor in the employer’s decision to deny her alternation – a clear-cut example of discrimination.

Ultimately, the employer faced consequences for violating the Canadian Human Rights Act: The adjudicator awarded Legros with $10,000 in damages for “willful and reckless discrimination”, as well as $15,000 for “significant pain and suffering”. The ‘Legros Decision’ thus helped reinforce the protections that benefit all our members, illustrating once more that labour rights are fought for and not given.

Image of a woman looking out the window with text explaining a union victory in a matter of age discrimination

Click for full-size version.

For more union victories, see this page, and follow us on social media using #CIUvictories.