Tag Archives: bargaining

February 2, 2023: Solidarity redux

Photo of CIU flag

On February 2 — Groundhog Day — our FB bargaining team was back at the bargaining table, where the employer continued to display the same inconsiderate attitude we’ve seen before, repeating a pattern we’re all too familiar with.

Luckily, CIU members from coast to coast to coast, in a display of solidarity reminiscent of August 6, 2021, were ready to step up once again and support their bargaining team, displaying signs, swag and stickers. Last round of bargaining, the employer saw what we could do when we’re united, and the message we sent on February 2 was clear: If they want to repeat the past, so can we. But we’re not going to wait three years.

See the gallery below for photos of the day.

FB bargaining: Show your support for the team on February 2

Have you ever felt stuck in a loop? Our FB bargaining team knows the feeling all too well. As mobilization ramps up for this round of bargaining, it’s becoming increasingly clear that CBSA has little more to offer than a Groundhog Day-type scenario, with the same inconsiderate proposals and attitudes we’ve already seen countless times.

That’s why we’re asking you to show support for our team on Thursday, February 2, by wearing stickers and swag. To mark the day, PSAC-CIU has prepared “Remember August 6” and “I support fair bargaining for all” stickers as a reminder to the employer that we’re serious about our demands, are focused on getting a fair deal for members, and won’t go another three years without a contract.

The unprecedented work-to-rule action by FB members across Canada on August 6, 2021, caused major delays at the borders and showed the strength of workers when we work together. That pressure ultimately led to a strong new collective agreement That’s why we’re mobilizing early, to remind the employer what we’re capable of, and we need your support.

Here’s what you can do:

Please contact your branch president or your PSAC regional office to request the new stickers. You can also wear any PSAC-CIU swag you have at home and download our virtual background and signature block to use throughout bargaining.

This round of negotiations, so far 

This round of bargaining kicked off in June 2022 with our continued push for an early retirement regime comparable to other law enforcement agencies, which complements the work PSAC is doing with the Public Service Pension Advisory Committee.

The team is also focusing on other key issues this round, like entrenching the ability to grieve access to telework in the collective agreement for non-uniformed FBs; job protections in the context of new technologies, contract workers, and student use; and new rights with respect to discipline and protections against forced overtime to address CBSA’s heavy-handed management style.

Meanwhile, we’re closely watching the 120,000 PSAC members working for Treasury Board in the PA, SV, TC, and EB groups as they move forward with strike votes. Many of these members are in our workplaces supporting FB members daily and were there when we needed them on August 6. Now it’s our turn to be there for them!

We’re also mindful that what happens at those tables, and with the 35,000 PSAC-UTE members working for the Canada Revenue Agency who are taking strike votes, will inevitably influence our negotiations, so it’s important we support their efforts. We’re all in this together.

Read our bargaining proposals below, and please keep your contact information up to date to receive all the latest updates.

Yes, you can wear union swag on the job 

Everything PSAC-CIU members do in the workplace to show employers we are paying attention to the issues and support our bargaining teams – no matter how big or small – makes a difference as we push for a fair contract.

Learn more about your rights in the workplace and refer to past rulings from the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board (FPSLREB) that reinforced our rights to represent the union in the workplace.

A 2018 FPSLREB ruling found CBSA’s arbitrary ban on wearing orange “I support my bargaining team” shoelaces anywhere except boots to be an unfair labour practice and a violation of the collective agreement. The judgment guaranteed members’ rights to wear these shoelaces as hair ties or bracelets, should they choose to do so. Another FPSLREB ruling from 2012 protected members’ rights to wear red “support the bargaining team” bracelets while on duty and rejected the claim that it was a violation of the uniform policy.

If management interferes with these rights or discourages you from exercising them, alert your branch president or your PSAC regional office right away.

This article was first posted on the PSAC website.

FB bargaining: Telework and shift premium top of mind for the team

Following reports of Treasury Board’s plan to unilaterally change telework agreements, the FB bargaining team used their December 13-15 bargaining dates to remind the employer that modifying working conditions without union consent while in negotiations is prohibited under federal legislation.

After talks wrapped, the federal government announced their direction for all core administration workers to return to the office 2-3 days per week by March 31, 2023. While this doesn’t impact workers at CBSA or other agencies for now, we will continue to emphasize the importance of enshrining telework in our contracts to ensure requests are not unreasonably denied. We also pointed out to the employer that this initiative demonstrates yet again that Treasury Board and CBSA have nothing but disdain for those who work for Canadians day in and day out.

We also addressed our proposals to ensure the introduction of new technology such as PIK machines, E-Gates, and ArriveCAN does not replace trained officers or put  public safety at risk. We support technological change when it supports our work, but that’s often not the case. PSAC has already filed a complaint with the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board regarding this issue.

Finally, the team raised the need for an increase to the shift premium — particularly given PSAC’s recent success negotiating increased premiums for other federal units — and discussed our proposals to streamline the grievance procedure.

We will table wage proposals at a future session once we have received payroll data from the employer.

Next steps  

The team will return to the table again in January. Read our bargaining proposals below:

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 branch president or your PSAC regional office.

This article was first posted on the PSAC website.

Changes to the FB bargaining team

Since it was formed earlier this year, our FB bargaining team has seen some changes to its membership. The bargaining team is now comprised of the following members:

Brea Baresinkoff, Michael William Fraser, Marjorie Gavel, Sophie Martin, Jacqueline Monk, Lisa Morgan, Keith Palmer, Shane Paul, Stewart Saunderson, and Jordan Smith.

Morgan Gay and Darren Pacione remain as Negotiator and Research Officer, respectively.

Welcome to the new members and thank you to everyone on the team for the work you’re doing on behalf of FB members.

TC group: no progress on key demands following mediation

Following a week of mediation, the federal government continues to refuse to budge on its wage offer that would deliver a pay cut to nearly 11,000 federal public service workers in the TC group who are facing record high inflation and a looming recession.

This revised wage offer was initially proposed during Common Issues mediation in September and would average 2.06% per year over a four-year agreement. Treasury Board held fast to this wage offer during mediation with the TC group, October 17-21.

TC negotiators made it clear that the current offer is unacceptable, and that a fair contract offer is necessary.

Yet the government is demanding concessions and made no move to resolve key issues for TC group members, including the large number of group-specific allowances that we are proposing to ensure that our members are fairly compensated.

In response, PSAC has launched both in-person and online strike training for our more than 165,000 federal public service members to ratchet up the pressure on the government to bargain fairly.

PSAC will now raise these issues at the Public Interest Commission (PIC) hearings conducted by the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board. PIC dates have been set for Common Issues, November 28 to December 1, and for the TC group on December 9.

If an agreement cannot be reached during the PIC process, PSAC members should be prepared to continue escalating our actions, up to and including taking strike action if necessary to reach a fair contract.

Stay informed and engaged

Getting involved and taking action are key as we push for a fair contract. Be prepared, get mobilized, stay engaged, and be ready to take action:

Keep your contact information up to date to receive all the latest bargaining updates.

This article was first posted on the PSAC website.