Tag Archives: bargaining

FB team denounces disgraceful CBSA discipline video during negotiations

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

Our FB bargaining team called on Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) management to retract a disgraceful video that threatens surveillance of members and harsh disciplinary measures.

The video, warning FB members that “discipline in the workplace happens” and “the consequences may surprise you,” reinforces the need for better protections against harassment and abuse of authority in the FB collective agreement.

Our Public Service Alliance of Canada-Customs and Immigration Union (PSAC-CIU) bargaining team also addressed issues around wages, medical notes, firearms and dog handlers and other key issues during negotiations with Treasury Board/CBSA September 17 to 19.

Discipline

With respect to discipline, our team denounced the recent video released by CBSA management on Atlas. We stated clearly to the employer that CBSA’s obsession with punishment and surveillance – as reflected in the video – is a serious problem, and that such tactics on the part of CBSA only serves to strengthen our union’s resolve to achieve better contract protections against harassment and abuse of authority in CBSA workplaces.

Medical notes and medical/dental appointments

In bargaining we reiterated our demands to protect against excessive management requests for medical notes and pushed for management to pay for medical notes. We also raised issues related to CBSA management’s intrusive questioning when employees take leave for medical and dental appointments.

Firearms and dog handlers

It came to light recently that CBSA has provided paid leave for clerks who volunteer to receive training for the handling of firearms. We pointed out the absurdity of not providing paid time for firearm practice for officers who are required to carry firearms when paid time is being provided for employees who volunteer for certain training. Our position in bargaining is that all officers required to carry a firearm should receive paid firearm practice time. We also again raised issues concerning compensation for dog handlers.

Name tags, telework

We provided additional evidence of the risks associated with requiring officers to wear name tags and explained our position that officers should not be required to provide their names. We also pointed out that the telework policy that has been implemented does not address the issues we’ve raised in bargaining and that we need language in our contract on the issue.

Wages

In light of recent analytical data that has come to light concerning members of the Inland, Intelligence and Investigations community, our team did not table wages this week as more time is needed to conduct our survey of the broader law enforcement community.

We are in the process of setting additional dates. We’ll be sure to update you when we have more information.

To review the package of proposals that we tabled and those of the employer, go to: psacunion.ca/fb-group.

We stand tall 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.

CIU members support their bargaining team

Banner with the words We support our bargaining team

Since the Labour Day long weekend, members from the CIU-PSAC FB bargaining team have been meeting with CIU members across the country to provide updates on the current status of the bargaining process. Members were keen to express their support, proudly wearing their orange epaulettes in solidarity, or displaying their CIU-PSAC water bottles.

Throughout the coming weeks, your support will continue to be crucial. Our bargaining team is returning to the table the week of September 16. We’ll be sure to provide you with updates. With the employer walking away from the other Treasury Board tables (PA, EB, SV and TC), we have to stand strong behind our FB bargaining team – so wear your epaulettes, and show your solidarity!

Photo of a group of BSOs with the words We support our bargaining team Photo of a group of CIU members with the words We support our bargaining team CIu-SDI Photo montage

Government walks away from pre-election deal

PSAC rally in front of Parliament

The Liberal government has squandered one last pre-election opportunity to deliver a fair deal at the bargaining table for PSAC members, as well as to provide proper compensation for damages caused by the Phoenix pay system.

Approximately half of the 140,000 federal public service workers currently in negotiations returned to the bargaining table when the Program and Administrative Services (PA) unit, representing 71,000 PSAC members, resumed negotiations with Treasury Board on Sunday September 1.

The government refused to meet PSAC’s key demands despite six continuous days of bargaining. Their wage offer fell short of providing PSAC members – the largest group of workers in the federal public service – with even the equivalent wage increase that was negotiated with other federal bargaining agents.

The government once again also proposed to short-change PSAC members for the pain and suffering caused by Phoenix. After finally agreeing to cash compensation rather than days of leave, the government’s offer remained meagre and insufficient to recognize the damages inflicted on public service workers over the last four years.

“We had made it clear to Treasury Board that we would return to the bargaining table, but only to discuss an improved offer—one that includes annual wage increases that meet or exceed inflation, improved work-life balance – and equitable monetary compensation for the Phoenix nightmare,” said PSAC National President Chris Aylward.

“PSAC came to the table in good faith, but instead of using this opportunity to deliver a fair deal for our members, the government walked away.”

Due to a federal election set to be called in the coming days, there will be no additional opportunities to return to the bargaining table until after the election is concluded. In the months after the election, negotiations will continue while PSAC undertakes preparations for possible strike action for the bargaining units listed below.

What PSAC units are currently negotiating new contracts with the federal government?

Nine PSAC units covering 140,000 workers in the federal government are currently negotiating new contracts. All the units below, except for Border Services (FB), are awaiting hearings at their respective Public Interest Commission (PIC).

Major government bargaining units

Click on your unit for the latest specific updates.

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

PSAC and government return to bargaining table to reach deal before election

Photo of PSAC members marching in a rally

The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) is resuming bargaining with Treasury Board for federal public service workers with the expectation that the government is committed to delivering a fair contract and proper compensation for the damage done to PSAC members by the Phoenix pay system. Continue reading

PA, EB, TC & SV bargaining: strike timeline

Bargaining

The Labour Board has set dates for Public Interest Commission (PIC) hearings for four Treasury Board bargaining tables:

Once a hearing has taken place, a PIC report is generally issued within 30 days. After the reports are issued, each bargaining unit will be in a position to strike if members vote to walk off the job. 

The PIC process began when bargaining reached an impasse in May.

In negotiations, the government insisted on a wage cut once inflation is factored in as well as a waiting period of up to 18 months after contract signing for retro pay. At the same time, the government rejected our proposals to improve working conditions by:

  • implementing market adjustments where pay discrepancies exist;
  • providing a full top-up for the new 18-month parental leave option;
  • reducing contracting-out and precarious work in the public service; and
  • better addressing mental health in the workplace.

What is a Public Interest Commission (PIC)?

By law, once impasse is reached, 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 then issues a report with recommendations for settlement. The recommendations are not binding.

Once the PIC releases its report, PSAC bargaining teams will reconvene to discuss the recommendations. Typically, PSAC’s teams and government representatives then return to the table to resume negotiations.

Will we strike?

Regardless of which party forms government after the fall federal election, PSAC will continue pressing for a fair deal that addresses members’ demands. However, if PSAC and the government are still unable to reach an agreement after the PIC reports are issued, members will have the opportunity to take a strike vote.  

History has taught us that the best way to avoid strikes is to prepare for one. Therefore, PSAC will ensure that strike training is offered to members in the coming months.

PSAC will also provide updates on the PIC process and other bargaining developments as appropriate.

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