Tag Archives: bargaining

FB bargaining: No trust in CBSA; team rejects concessions to hours of work

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

The FB bargaining team continued their push to make Canada Border Services Agency a better place to work during talks with Treasury Board/CBSA the week of January 20, but the employer still refuses to budge on any meaningful improvements.

Our team highlighted issues around:

Name tags

The employer still insists that officers must display their names on name tags. Our team reiterated that this practice puts officers at risk and is unacceptable.

Medical notes

Our bargaining team firmly opposes the need for medical notes when employees are sick. CBSA shouldn’t be asking employees to provide medical notes, and if the Agency wants one provided, they should reimburse members for it.

Paid meal period

The employer rejected our proposal for a paid meal period, but we’re maintaining our position. Officers have to tool-up and tool-down for lunch; otherwise they have to wear their tools during lunch. Given this reality, meal periods should be paid like other law enforcement agencies.
Paid time for firearm practice: Our team is seeking to have paid firearm practice time provided to officers under the collective agreement equivalent to two shifts per year.

Seniority and work location

There are significant problems with the way management assigns officers to new locations. Across Canada, there are officers who are looking to work in different parts of the country. But right now, management passes over senior officers for these assignments and even places new hires in locations where union members are looking to work. We are seeking a fair and transparent process where officers can exercise their seniority if they wish to change districts or regions.

Telework

We again raised the issue of telework for our non-uniformed members. Our team does not understand why CBSA chiefs and superintendents get their telework approved regularly, while non-frontline staff who require an accommodation are denied telework. This is yet another example of the double standard at CBSA, where management gets preferential treatment over employees. We want language in the contract to address this issue.

VSSAs

CBSA is proposing that VSSAs should no longer be negotiated, but rather run through a ‘consultation’ process with our union. All too often at CBSA, ‘consultation’ means ‘impose’. We told CBSA “No” and rejected their proposal. Our team doesn’t trust CBSA management with our hours of work.

We also discussed student issues, the dog hander allowance and reiterated our position concerning pension reform.

To review the package of proposals that we tabled as well as those of the employer, visit: psacunion.ca/fb-group. We’ll continue to provide updates during our next bargaining session the week of February 23. To see other updates on Treasury Board bargaining, check out psacunion.ca/treasury-board.

We stand for law enforcement

Together as FBs, we’ve achieved incredible victories over the years. PSAC is the largest union in the federal public service, and one of the largest public sector unions in the country. No other union has more experience in bargaining and representation within the federal public service than PSAC and CIU.

  • We successfully won the right for Border Services Officers to be armed in 2006.
  • Since 2007, PSAC-CIU successfully negotiated a 48% increase in compensation for frontline BSO, including a 17.5% raise in 2018.
  • We won significant new rights for shift workers, including protections in the context of VSSA negotiations and seniority rights.

Standing together, we will continue to work together and hold the CBSA’s feet to the fire to ensure we can continue to make groundbreaking gains for FB members.

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

FB bargaining team returns to the table next week

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

The CIU-PSAC FB bargaining team is returning to the table the week of January 20. With our members rallying in the last month to show their support, our team is keen to meet with the employer and continue pushing for a fair and equitable contract. Stay tuned – we’ll be sure to provide you with updates as the bargaining process continues!

TB bargaining: PSAC heads into mediation for PA group and common issues

Bargaining

PSAC’s bargaining team representing 90,000 federal public service workers in the Program & Administrative Services (PA) unit has agreed to mediation on January 16 and 17.

The session is being convened by the Public Interest Commission (PIC) and will cover both common issues as well as those specific to the PA unit (information for the other Treasury Board units will be forthcoming).

PSAC and the government presented their respective bargaining positions at a PIC hearing on December 4-7.

PSAC will provide an update on the mediation session once it is complete.

What is a Public Interest Commission (PIC)?

Under the law that governs contract negotiations in the federal public service, once impasse is reached at the bargaining table, a PIC is established to help the parties reach an agreement.

The PIC is a panel of three people – a chairperson appointed by the Labour Board and nominees appointed by the union and management. The union and the employer submit briefs and explain their positions on the outstanding issues at a hearing with the PIC. The PIC chairperson also has the option of convening additional talks. The PIC then issues a report with recommendations for settlement. The recommendations are not binding.

Once the PIC releases its report, the union’s bargaining team will meet to discuss the recommendations. Traditionally, following this, PSAC and government representatives have returned to the table to resume negotiations. We expect the PIC reports to be issued in 2020.

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

Members rally in Saint John

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

CIU members kicked off the New Year by rallying in Saint John, NB, in support of the FB bargaining team. The rally, which took place on January 7, 2020, followed a meeting with Wayne Long, MP for Saint John-Rothesay. The PSAC-CIU bargaining team representing FB (Border Services) personnel is returning to the bargaining table later this month. Continue reading

TC bargaining: Government unwilling to budge on 10-year-old wages and 40-year-old job standards

Bargaining

The TC (Technical Services) bargaining team was in two days of hearings at the Public Interest Commission (PIC) followed by two days of mediation from December 17 to 19. Unfortunately, there has been no progress in negotiations, as the employer is deeply entrenched in its own positions. An overview of regressive proposals affecting all core public service bargaining units is available here, while TC-specific proposals are highlighted below.

PSAC is committed to continue pushing for improvements and resisting concessions in the TC collective agreement.

The union is also disappointed that the government, with all the resources at its disposal, refused to provide a PIC submission in both official languages. You can download PSAC’s TC PIC submission in English and French and access the government’s English only submission here.

Wage parity with comparable jobs

PSAC has proposed wage adjustments that keep up with the wages of other employees in comparable jobs both outside and inside the federal public service. In many cases, the wages of PSAC members in the TC group are lagging far behind those of other employees in similar positions. We have a pay study showing large wage gaps.

After more than a decade of frozen wages and rising inflation, the employer made an insulting counter-offer of wage adjustments totaling up to just 1% for these TC positions.

CFIA Comparability

We have an agreement with the employer that all EGs are equivalent to EGs who work at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). However, EGs at CFIA are paid 3.3% more than EGs in the TC group.  We argued that all EG members should be paid that higher rate.

The employer has agreed that there is a gap, although they have stated the only movement they would make will come out of the 1%. That is to say that they won’t make up the entire gap, and that this amount will come out of the pockets of non-EG members.

Group Specific Allowances

Many smaller groups have huge wage gaps compared to their internal or their external comparators. PSAC is pushing to make up these gaps. This means we will push to:

  • expand some of the allowances to include more members
  • increase some allowances
  • introduce a number of new allowances for members

Again, the employer has agreed that there are a number of problems, although they reiterated the only movement they would make will come out of the 1%.

Fair Classification and the Occupational Group Structure

The classification system is broken and we are pushing for a commitment from the employer to get through the process of providing a new occupational group structure for the TC group, which is the first step in providing an updated and fair classification system so that members are all properly classified and paid fairly. For some of our members, their job standards are approaching 40 years old. We have waited long enough for this system to be implemented and are looking to negotiate a clear clause that would result in a concrete penalty for the employer if they miss any future deadlines.

The employer is trying to push off the date that they must complete this process.  They have repeatedly been unable to meet any deadlines that have been set to fix the broken classification system. The employer has not been willing to make any commitments that will hold them accountable for completing this process.

Leaves and Other Common Issues

There is a large number of issues which are common to all of PSAC’s members in the federal government which are at the common-issues table. This list of issues includes improvements to vacation leave and other leaves, better protections for members in the event of layoffs, protections from discrimination and harassment, and new language on domestic violence leave.

These are not negotiated at our table, but there is still a long way to push the employer to respond to our issues.

PSAC will continue to mobilize its membership through increased workplace action, up to and including a strike, until a fair settlement is reached. Stay up to date with the latest on bargaining by signing up for PSAC email updates.

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