Tag Archives: bargaining

CIU funds top-up strike pay for its PA, SV, TC and EB members

At its September 2022 meeting, in Ottawa, the CIU National Board of Directors passed a motion to establish an additional strike fund to better support CIU PA, SV, TC and EB members during this current round of bargaining.

The fund would allow CIU members in good standing who are part of these groups, and who participate in strike activities, to access an additional $50 per strike day, on top of the existing $75/day provided by the Public Service Alliance of Canada.

This is similar to the additional strike pay that the 2021 CIU Triennial Convention had created for FB members for that table’s previous round of bargaining.

This decision by the CIU National Board of Directors comes as PA, SV, TC and EB members await the result of a Public Interest Commission, which could set the stage for possible strike action.

The CIU Board of Directors is hopeful that, should strike actions prove necessary, this display of solidarity across tables will help ensure that the membership is successful, that Treasury Board bargaining groups have the resources they need to win the fight for a fair agreement, and that the employer knows we’re ready to fight as one.

For any questions regarding this top-up strike pay, please contact your Branch President.

TC group: Update on EG rates of pay following arbitration victory

PSAC won increased rates for Engineering and Scientific Support (EG) members in the Technical Services (TC) group in January 2022 to ensure that they are at parity with EGs at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

Since then, Treasury Board has refused to make payments to any EG members in the TC group, arguing they won’t implement the changes until PSAC and the government reach a new collective agreement.

We believed that this was a clear violation of the arbitration ruling, and returned to the arbitrator to force Treasury Board to pay this amount immediately. Closing this pay gap is long overdue, and the government should not deny workers amounts that they are rightly owed.

Unfortunately, the arbitrator did not side with us, and has ordered that the updated rates only be paid when we finalize a deal with Treasury Board for this round of bargaining. Although the initial payment resulting from the new 1.5 per cent step in June 2022 won’t happen until a new collective agreement is signed, this pay parity victory will be fully retroactive for EG members.

This arbitration decision has no impact on what PSAC is seeking at the table in this round of bargaining.

Negotiations hit a breaking point when Treasury Board refused to budge on their insulting wage offer amidst soaring inflation in Canada. PSAC is in mediation for common issues bargaining from September 12 to 14 and 20 to 23, with dates for the TC group coming soon.

Check out our bargaining toolkit to learn more about this round of bargaining, the issues that matter most, and how to get involved.

Please be sure to keep your contact information up to date to receive the latest updates for TC members.

This article was first posted on the PSAC website.

August 6: A time for solidarity

Photo of CIU flag

August 6, 2021, marked a historical moment for our union and for the Canadian labour movement at large when FB members mobilized from coast to coast to coast, successfully bringing to a close a long and protracted bargaining round. Through this display of solidarity — one of the most fruitful in recent Canadian labour history — our members showed just how powerful we can be when we come together and act as one in the face of adversity.

As the anniversary of this important moment approaches, FB members once again find themselves at the early stage of the bargaining process for a new collective agreement, preparing for another round where key protections will have to be fought for and defended. At the same time, following Treasury Board’s insulting wage proposal and unacceptable concession demands, our members from the PA, TC, SV and EB tables have reached impasse in their own negotiations, and are now awaiting the proceedings of the Public Interest Commission, moving closer to being in a legal strike position.

As this unfolds, it is important to remember that we do not bargain in a vacuum. Many of the concessions sought by Treasury Board for the PA, TC, SV and EB tables will have a broader impact beyond this round of bargaining — including for our FB members for whom the bargaining process is just beginning.

Victories are most effective when they act as a foundation to be built upon. In that spirit, let August 6 serve as a springboard for us to support ongoing efforts to push back against Treasury Board’s concession demands, in a demonstration of solidarity with all members — both within CIU and outside CIU — from the PA, TC, SV and EB groups.

No gesture is too small. On the first anniversary date of the August 6 FB mobilization and for the week following, Branch executives are encouraged to plan activities appropriate for their work location in solidarity with other Treasury Board tables. Members should reach out to their Branch President to discuss ideas and ways to express support for ongoing bargaining efforts. Branch Presidents can contact their National Vice-President for more information.

United we bargain, divided we beg: On August 6 and beyond, let’s show that CIU members truly know the meaning of solidarity.

Mark Weber
National President
Customs and Immigration Union

TB Bargaining: Proceeding to Public Interest Commission

PSAC’s fight for a fair deal is progressing as a federal labour board last week moved to establish a Public Interest Commission (PIC) to help advance negotiations for 120,000 PSAC members.

The Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Board called for the establishment of a PIC for the EB, PA, SV, and TC bargaining tables last week to help PSAC and Treasury Board reach an agreement.

This follows on the heels of PSAC declaring impasse in May after months of Treasury Board stalling in negotiations, culminating in Treasury Board’s insulting wage offer that’s completely out of touch with soaring rates of inflation. This in addition to proposals for further concessions left PSAC no choice but to declare impasse.

During the PIC process, PSAC will continue to fight for a strong agreement that includes fair wages, better work-life balance, job security and inclusive workplaces. The cost of living continues to soar, so PSAC is working hard to get a fair deal quickly.

To that effect, PSAC will be lobbying members of Parliament throughout the summer months to keep the pressure on, while also holding regional events for members to get engaged at this vital time.

How does a PIC work?

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

The PIC is a panel of three people — a chairperson appointed by the Labour Board and nominees appointed by the union and the employer. Each side presents briefs to explain their positions on the outstanding issues at a hearing and the PIC issues a report with non-binding recommendations for reaching a settlement.

Once the PIC releases its report, the union will meet to discuss the recommendations at which point the parties typically return to the table to resume negotiations with the employer. While the timeline is largely dependent on availability of the three parties, we expect to receive the report at some point in the fall.

Stay informed, engaged

Your involvement as a member becomes increasingly important as negotiations advance. Here are some tools and resources to help you stay informed and engaged:

And please keep your contact information up to date via the member portal to receive all the latest bargaining updates.

This article was first posted on the PSAC website.

PSAC declares impasse in Treasury Board bargaining over insulting wage offer

After nearly a year of negotiations with Treasury Board, we made the difficult decision to declare impasse for more than 120,000 of our members in the PASVTC and EB groups.

This week, we filed for conciliation with the federal labour board, and we’ll be ramping up our pressure on the government across the country this summer to reach a fair settlement quickly.

Every round of bargaining matters, but this one is especially critical. So much has changed for our members over the past two years, and our collective agreements need to reflect that. We’ve seen how the pandemic has impacted the way we live and work, and now the cost of living is getting out of hand.

We’re asking for sensible improvements to our members’ working conditions so that workers aren’t left behind. We need more options for remote work and better work-life balance as we recover from the pandemic, inclusive workplaces, better job security and fair wages that keep up with rising inflation.

But all we’ve seen at the table is disrespect from Treasury Board and a complete disregard for the issues that matter most to PSAC members. They have flat-out rejected our proposals on mental health and anti-racism and discrimination training for all federal public service workers.

They’re also hell-bent on pushing through concessions around technological change, discipline, leave provisions, and the Work Force Adjustment policy that will hurt workers.

But the real tipping point was the government’s insulting wage offer averaging 1.75% per year over a four-year agreement from 2021-2025 that’s entirely out of touch with record-high inflation.

If the government expects PSAC members who have been getting Canadians through the pandemic to shoulder the costs of Canada’s recovery, they’re in for a rude awakening.

You deserve a fair and decent contract, and we’ll be counting on your support over the weeks and months ahead to fight for the issues that impact you.

Taking strike action is always a last resort, but if we need to go on strike to get the contract you deserve, that’s exactly what we’ll do. We need to be prepared, get mobilized, stay engaged, and be ready to take action.

In solidarity,

Chris Aylward
PSAC National President

This article was first posted on the PSAC website.