Tag Archives: bargaining

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.

FB bargaining team striving to make CBSA a better place to work

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

Our PSAC-Customs and Immigration Union (PSAC-CIU) bargaining team raised issues around vacation leave, medical notes, student workers and firearm practice time during negotiations with Treasury Board/Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) July 30 to August 1.

The team also reached an agreement to fairly compensate CBSA dog handlers.

Other key issues discussed at the table include:

Protections from CBSA Management

We continue to raise problems related to CBSA management culture and CBSA’s dealings with employees. In addition to proposals we’ve made concerning new protections in the context of discipline, abuse of authority and harassment, our team spoke again this week to our proposal to ensure whistleblowing protections are in place for PSAC/CIU members in the event of CBSA wrongdoing.

Paid Leave

Our team addressed the need for us to achieve improved leave and work-life balance. Most ports are understaffed, and overtime use is rampant. We have proposed an increase in annual leave to match what RCMP constables are afforded. We also raised issues related to access to leave with income averaging (LWIA).

Medical Notes

There is no clear policy with respect to employees being required to provide medical notes. CBSA managers often require employees to provide medical notes based on subjective criteria. Our position is that if management wants a medical note, they can pay for the costs associated with obtaining it.

Firearm Practice Time

Our team is demanding that officers be provided paid time for firearm practice, consistent with the Agency’s previous practice.

Student workers

We again raised the issue of students working at airports. In several locations across the country, students are being employed as a cheap labour force and undermining both the safety and security of Canadians and our collective agreement rights. Our proposals in bargaining regarding student use would rectify these issues.

Dog Handlers, grievance procedure, telework

We continued this week to push for language that would streamline the grievance process, and to provide better access to telework options for non-uniformed personnel. We also raised and resolved issues with CBSA management with respect to compensation for officers with dog-handling responsibilities.

We are scheduled to return to the bargaining table in September.

To review the package of proposals that we tabled and those of the employer, go to: psacunion.ca/fb. We’ll be sure to provide updates as things progress.

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.

FB bargaining team pushes for ’25 and out’ retirement, rejects concessions at table

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

Our PSAC-CIU bargaining team representing the Border Services (FB) group rejected concessions to job security and again pushed for ’25 and out’ retirement during negotiations with Treasury Board/Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) the week of June 10.

Our bargaining team is frustrated that the employer is still unwilling to make meaningful progress on a number of core issues, including fairly compensating new officers (FB-02s), ’25 and out’ retirement and revamping the grievance procedure.

Pension Reform

We have made considerable progress over the past two rounds in our fight for parity with the broader law enforcement community. This week, we reiterated the need for pension reform for union members in the FB group. We are demanding a commitment from Treasury Board in support of pension reform. PSAC-CIU will also be undertaking other initiatives to push pension reform for the FB group during the coming election campaign.

Job Security

Treasury Board has made proposals to undermine the job security language in our contract contained in the Workforce Adjustment Appendix. We rejected the employer’s proposal and instead reiterated our proposals to enhance protections for union members.

We also raised the issue of students being used to undermine our work and public safety. We have made proposals to deal with student-related issues in the workplace.

Grievance Procedure

We’ve tabled demands to streamline the grievance process. There is no need to meet with Chiefs and Superintendents if Ottawa is making the decisions. We should be dealing with the source.

Fairly compensate new officers (FB-02s)

We again stated that Border Services Officers (BSOs), upon completion of their training at Rigaud, should be made FB-03s and compensated accordingly. The FB-02 classification is being used to exploit new officers. They wear the badge. They wear the uniform. They make the decisions. They deserve to be paid and treated accordingly.

Telework

After years of raising the issue of telework access for Trade Compliance Officers and other non-uniformed staff, the CBSA has announced a policy on telework. However, its application is unclear. We reiterated the need for there to be language in the contract on this issue.

We are scheduled to return to the bargaining table July 30 to August 1.

To review the package of proposals that we tabled and those of the employer, go to psacunion.ca/fb. We’ll be sure to provide updates as bargaining progresses.

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

PA, EB, SV & TC bargaining: PSAC continues pursuit of fair collective agreements and proper compensation for Phoenix

Bargaining

The tentative collective agreement settlements reached by the federal Treasury Board with some federal unions this week will not stand in the way of proper compensation for PSAC members who work for the federal government and its agencies, said PSAC National President Chris Aylward.

“Negotiations with Treasury Board for our PA, EB, TC and SV bargaining units are still at impasse, as are our negotiations with the Canada Revenue Agency,” Aylward explained. “We have just had confirmation that the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board is establishing Public Interest Commissions in each case to review the positions of the parties and make recommendations clearing the way for strike votes.”

“We are prepared to go back to the bargaining table at any time, but Treasury Board must show it is prepared to address the important concerns of our members including fair compensation for the Phoenix-related pay problems we have endured for almost four years now,” said Aylward.

The government’s last proposal to increase wages by only 1.5% each year over four years represents a pay cut in real terms. Further, the government’s negotiators continue to pursue contract concessions including the removal of the previously negotiated agreement on mental health.

“PSAC members have given our union bargaining teams a clear mandate to negotiate collective agreement improvements not rollbacks,” said Aylward.

“Our members want the federal government to live up to its promise to treat public service employees and the PSAC, the largest federal union, with respect and address long-standing problems including pay inequities, issues related to work-life balance, and the rise of precarious employment which is putting at risk reliable service to the public,” Aylward said.

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

National Public Service Week: You deserve a fair contract and Phoenix settlement

Cartoon drawing of a loud speaker with the words "let's get this done"

This year’s National Public Service Week (NPSW), being held between June 9 and 15, is happening while 140,000 PSAC members are fighting to reach fair collective agreements and proper compensation for the Phoenix disaster.

While the NPSW is supposed to celebrate and express appreciation for federal workers, the Trudeau government’s actions over the last year have done the opposite:

PSAC encourages members to participate in NPSW events and use them as an opportunity to send a clear signal to government that it has failed its own employees.

With the federal election quickly approaching this fall, there is no better time to send the government a message:

Let’s Get It Done! 

PSAC has created stickers and leaflets to bring home this message during NPSW events across the country — contact your local to get a hold of them.

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