Tag Archives: 25 and out

Watch — Retirement after 25 years of service for border personnel: Brian Masse asks the real questions

Brian Masse asking the real questions about the long-standing issue of retirement after 25 years of service for border personnel.

CIU is thankful to Brian Masse for asking the real questions in the House of Commons on behalf of our members. On April 30, the Windsor West MP brought up the long-standing issue of retirement after 25 years of service for border personnel, putting the spotlight on the lack of action by the federal government.

Treasury Board President Anita Anand seems happy to pretend this is something that’ll be resolved through the PIC process, claiming “all deals are best made at the table”.

Some facts:

  • Equitable retirement provisions — “25 and Out” — require legislative amendments. That doesn’t happen at the table, it happens in the House. TB President Anita Anand can make this happen now. It’s easy.
  • The PIC process takes place after parties reach impasse. Maybe Anita should ask the TB bargaining team what they were busy doing when our team was at the table.
  • The employer does not need to wait for the PIC recommendation to offer a fair deal and an actual wage proposal. They can choose to do the right thing now.

Additional content

The fight for equitable retirement benefits for FB members

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PSAC and the Customs and Immigration Union (CIU) have been advocating for over a decade for equitable retirement benefits for CBSA law enforcement personnel working at the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). In the last round of bargaining, FB members won a commitment from Treasury Board to support this – it’s time the government follows through.

Almost all law enforcement and public safety workers — both provincially and municipally — receive “25 and out” early retirement benefits, with very few exceptions. This includes firefighters, air traffic controllers, RCMP constables, operational employees of the Correctional Service of Canada, and more.

Allowing CBSA law enforcement officers to access the same early retirement benefits would allow our members to retire with dignity after 25 years of service, without any penalties.

CBSA law enforcement personnel work in demanding and physically challenging roles, and face similar physical demands and risks, yet are not afforded the same retirement benefits as their counterparts in other law enforcement agencies.

Instead, many older employees are given limited duties as they near retirement, as firearm and use of force certification become more difficult.

Without the prospect of fair retirement benefits, it can be challenging for CBSA to attract and retain talented workers at a time when the agency is already short-staffed.

It’s time the Treasury Board did the right thing and implemented pension reform.

Providing equitable and early retirement benefits will not only improve the overall well-being and job satisfaction of PSAC-CIU members working at CBSA, but also ensure a sustainable workforce by improving recruitment and retention.

This article was first posted on the PSAC website.

Media advisory: Workers at CBSA and allies rally, call on government to fulfill commitment to equitable retirement

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Ottawa, September 21, 2023 – Members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and the Customs and Immigration Union are rallying to call on Treasury Board and the government to live up to their commitment to provide CBSA law enforcement officers equitable retirement benefits.

  • Date: Thursday September 21, 2023
  • Time: Rally starting at 12:30 p.m.
  • Location: Treasury Board of Canada, 90 Elgin Street, Ottawa

CBSA law enforcement officers work in demanding and physically challenging roles, and face similar physical demands and risks as their counterparts in other law enforcement agencies across the country. However, they do not receive equivalent retirement benefits. Instead, many older employees are forced to accept limited duties and opportunities for advancement as they near retirement, as firearms and use of force certification become more difficult as workers age.

Recognizing this, the government has committed to making legislative amendments to provide “25 and out” early retirement benefits, but this has yet to be done. This would allow officers to retire with dignity after 25 years of service.

“With very few exceptions, almost all law enforcement and public safety workers – both provincially and municipally – receive 25 and out retirement benefits. This includes firefighters, air traffic controllers, RCMP constables, operational employees of the Correctional Service of Canada, and more,” said Mark Weber, CIU National President. “It’s time for this government and Treasury Board to step up to the plate and show that they understand and support workers at CBSA.”

Speakers include:

  • Mark Weber, National President, Customs and Immigration Union
  • Chris Aylward, National President, Public Service Alliance of Canada
  • Brea Baresinkoff, FB group bargaining team member

More than 10,000 PSAC-CIU members working at CBSA are currently in negotiations with the federal government, where equitable retirement benefits, job security, telework, and fair wages that keep up with the cost of living are key issues at the bargaining table.

Information and interviews:
PSAC Media Relations
media@psac-afpc.com
613.714.6610

FB group: New legislation opportunity to address systemic issues at CBSA

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PSAC-CIU recommends the government strengthen its proposed legislation to introduce civilian oversight for both the RCMP and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) by broadening is scope to address systemic discrimination and abuse of authority by managers.

Mark Weber, National President of the Customs and Immigration Union (CIU), raised concerns about Bill C-20’s ability to bring about real, systemic change within CBSA unless it includes guarantees maintaining collective agreement rights and provides ways for CBSA employees to report abuse and overreach by management.

Bill C-20 would create a Public Complaints and Review Commission serving as a civilian oversight body for both the RCMP and CBSA.

“We agree that it is paramount for our government and its agencies to develop the tools and recourses necessary to address issues linked to overreach, systemic discrimination, and abuse of authority ” said Weber. “The Bill seems to be missing the mark when it comes to addressing systemic issues already present within the Agency which is infamous amongst its employees for letting gross abuse by management run unchecked.”

The bill also lacks clear language on time limits for complaints and investigations, and around established collective agreement rights such as union representation during administrative investigations.

Under the current wording of the bill, CBSA officers and other personnel would not be able to report instances of unfair or abusive disciplinary measures to the Commission. This is especially concerning, as management within the Agency is known to brush aside complaints from employees, choosing instead to use the extensive discipline process already in place to punish workers.

PSAC-CIU’s testimony also flagged to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security that perennial issues exist such as prioritizing technology over personnel, arbitrarily cancelling anti-racism training and staffing holding facilities with poorly trained, contracted out, private security guards. Stronger provisions in the legislation would help address entrenched cultural issues within CBSA management.

Recognizing CBSA law enforcement officers as public safety personnel across all federal legislation

Bill C-20 is also an opportunity for the federal government to recognize CBSA law enforcement officers deserve the same treatment and benefits as other public safety personnel in Canada.

During the last round of FB collective bargaining, PSAC successfully negotiated an agreement with Treasury Board to push for equitable pensions for FB members. Treasury Board committed to resubmitting the FB group’s proposal for legislative amendments that would provide enhanced early retirement benefits (also referred to as 25 and out) under the public service pension plan. Now, the government must introduce legislative changes that would make early retirement a reality for FB members.

“Our law enforcement members are an integral part of this country’s public safety framework. The proposed creation of this new civilian oversight body implies that the federal government agrees” said Weber. “Yet PSAC-CIU law enforcement members are still not recognized as public safety personnel under major public service legislation such as the Public Service Superannuation Act and the Income Tax Act.”

The government cannot pick and choose; for Bill C-20 to be coherent, it must be accompanied by legislative changes confirming the status of CBSA law enforcement officers as public safety personnel across federal legislation.

Watch the entire webcast on ParlVU.

This article was first posted on the PSAC website.