Tag Archives: bargaining

FB group: Register now for national town hall meetings

Image discussion FB PSAC-AFPC

PSAC-CIU will be holding virtual town hall meetings over the next two weeks to give FB members the latest updates on bargaining and outline our next steps as we ramp up to mobilize for a fair contract.

During the town hall, you’ll hear from CIU National President Jean-Pierre Fortin and PSAC negotiator Morgan Gay who will provide important information and insight into the bargaining process and our key demands at the table. You’ll be able to ask questions or raise concerns at the end of the meeting.

You deserve a contract that recognizes your incredible dedication to Canadians and brings your salary and benefits fully in line with law enforcement agencies across Canada. This is your opportunity to learn how your bargaining team is fighting to make that happen.

French FB town hall 

English FB town hall 

Regional town halls are also being organized and will take place after the national town halls. We’ll send out dates and details shortly.

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

Letter from the PSAC National President to the President of the Treasury Board regarding the FB bargaining unit

Photo of CIU flag

PSAC National President Chris Aylward sent the following letter to the Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos, President of the Treasury Board, on October 26, 2020.


Dear Minister,

I am reaching out to you to provide you with information related to an equitable retirement regime for members of the FB bargaining unit (Canada Border Services Agency employees). As you may know, PSAC has been advocating for such an equitable retirement regime for FB members for many years. We are seeking an arrangement for these members that is consistent with other law enforcement officers in the federal public service, including RCMP members and Correctional Officers.

Employees in the FB bargaining unit carry out a vast range of duties associated with the enforcement of the law, including collaboration with other law enforcement, intelligence and security agencies in joint operations. Despite the ongoing pandemic, these members continue to proudly work and deliver on behalf of Canadians.

Border Services Officers (BSOs) represent most of the workers in the bargaining unit. These employees work at airports, land border and marine ports of entry, and at Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) postal operations.

BSOs have the power to seize and arrest and are required to undergo regular Control and Defence Tactics (CDT) training as a condition of employment. Since 2006, BSOs working in land border and marine environments are equipped with firearms. This arming initiative has also come to include Inland Enforcement Officers, Intelligence Officers and Investigators, all three groups also being required to undergo regular CDT training.

The nature of the work performed by members of the bargaining unit, and the fitness standards that are required for employees to perform their duties, are entirely consistent with what is found with other law enforcement agencies, be they federal such as the RCMP and Corrections, or in other jurisdictions such as the Ontario Provincial Police and the Sureté du Québec. It is because of the work and the fitness standards associated with the work that these other law enforcement agencies have adopted early retirement regimes. Simply put, it is increasingly difficult for officers as they advance in age to meet the standards required. Employers are required under Human Rights Legislation to accommodate up until undue hardship. Early retirement regimes alleviate this burden on employers and staff. The same is true in the case of CBSA.

Given the nature of the work performed by employees in the FB bargaining unit and the crucial importance of that work in terms of ensuring the safety and security of Canadians, it is in the interest of both the federal government and the broader Canadian public that employees in this occupational group have access to an early retirement regime to avoid risks to public health and safety.

It is only fair that workers in the FB bargaining unit are afforded benefits that are comparable to that of other law enforcement officers. Other federal public service workers facing similar workplace demands, such as Correctional Officers, already have this type of retirement regime.

As such we have been advocating for CBSA members to be able to access retirement without penalty 5 years earlier than existing Group 1 members of the Public Service Pension Plan, consistent with operational service provisions for employees of Correctional Services Canada.

In order to achieve equitable retirement for FB members specifically, changes are required to the Public Service Superannuation Act and its regulations.

FB members have been advocating for an equitable retirement regime for many years. The issue is before a sub-committee of the Public Service Pension Advisory Committee. We are urging you to support the work of PSPAC and to support legislative changes to allow for CBSA employees to access the same early retirement provisions that are available to many law enforcement officers across the country.

Further, we would welcome the chance to meet with you via videoconference to discuss this important matter at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely,

Chris Aylward
PSAC National President

Click here for the PDF version.

The FB bargaining team needs your support!

Photo of CBSA officer with orange epaulettes

The FB bargaining team is back at the bargaining table this week!

As a show of support for our team, we are asking all our members to proudly wear or display their union swag (epaulets, laces, wristband, mug, etc.) and to keep them displayed until the union reaches a tentative agreement.

We also invite our members to send photos of them wearing or displaying their union swag at comms@ciu-sdi.ca.

Note: By sending in their photos, members agree that CIU may publish these photos online, including its website and social media pages. Those who wear a name tag should remove or hide it before taking a picture.

FB Bargaining: PSAC-CIU protects bargaining unit work

Photo of CIU flag

Buckling under legal pressure from PSAC-CIU, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has stopped contracting out the work of trained border services officers to students at ports of entry in Toronto.

In July, CBSA management in Toronto implemented new shifts staffed exclusively by students after PSAC-CIU members refused to enter into talks on a temporary variable shift schedule arrangement (VSSA) due to concerns that management would abuse the agreement.

As a result, PSAC took legal action and filed an unfair labour practice complaint with the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board against the CBSA and Treasury Board.

Staffing our ports of entry with trained CBSA border services officers is the only way to ensure the safety of Canadians and our borders.

In light of the legal action taken by PSAC-CIU, CBSA in Toronto has reversed the changes made in July. PSAC will therefore be withdrawing its complaint.

Our bargaining team has made proposals in national negotiations concerning protections against unilateral changes to scheduling and to protect our bargaining unit work. To be clear, PSAC-CIU is not opposed to students receiving training and work experience opportunities. But our proposals would protect against students being used as cheap labour by CBSA. Students should never replace trained officers at CBSA ports of entry.

The legislation states that all matters subject to negotiation are frozen until such time as the parties reach a new agreement. This means that our current terms and conditions are frozen, unless the union consents to changes CBSA wants to make. We were not consulted on the changes made. We are opposed to BSOs being replaced by students. We do not agree with CBSA’s scheduling changes.

Other legal challenges against CBSA

Our legal challenges over CBSA’s contracting out the work of Border Services Officers to Commissionaires at Pearson International Airport and changes made to shifts at Postal Operations in Vancouver are ongoing. We are also in mediation on complaints related to leave with income averaging and compressed schedules. Our dispute concerning CBSA’s name tag policy is still ongoing.

We will continue to pursue legal action against CBSA until such time as the employer complies with its legal and contractual obligations.

To review the package of bargaining proposals that we tabled as well as those of the employer, visit the PSAC page for the FB page group. We’ll announce new bargaining dates when they’re available and continue to provide updates throughout the bargaining process.

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

FB team begins talks on economic proposals with Treasury Board/CBSA

Calgary Airport Border Officers wearing orange epaulets in solidarity

Our PSAC/CIU FB bargaining team addressed a number of economic proposals with the employer during bargaining the week of September 21. In addition to reiterating our position concerning the need for pension reform, we raised the following:

  • A paid meal period;
  • A much-needed increase in shift and weekend premiums;
  • A fitness allowance;
  • Two shifts of paid firearm practice time per year;
  • A plain clothes allowance for EIOD staff and Hearings Officers.

We also discussed our proposals to ensure better access to leave with income averaging as well as telework.

On the issue of telework, during the pandemic, we once again asked the employer if T2200 tax forms – which certify that an employee is required to work from home and lets them claim certain expenses on their tax return – would be provided to staff working at remote locations. The employer indicated that this had to be done in consultation with Canada Revenue Agency, and Treasury Board made a commitment to provide the forms before the end of the tax year.

Lastly, the parties spent time discussing our proposals regarding the grievance procedure. The current grievance process is dysfunctional and takes far too long. In this round of negotiations, we are pushing to streamline the grievance process with CBSA, and have made it clear that it is a priority for our team.

Calgary Airport Border Officers wearing orange epaulets in solidarity

Solidarity with our Sisters and Brothers at Calgary Air (and across the country) wearing their union epaulets in support of a fair contract! We will keep up the fight for the agreement that we deserve.

To review the package of proposals that we tabled as well as those of the employer, visit the FB group page. We’ll announce new bargaining dates when they’re available and continue to provide updates throughout the bargaining process.

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