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.
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).
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.
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.