Tag Archives: CIP

FB bargaining team receives Public Interest Commission recommendation

PSAC-CIU received the Public Interest Commission’s report July 28 with their non-binding recommendations for reaching an agreement at the bargaining table. The report comes the day  after the union’s announcement of the FB strike vote results and puts us in a legal strike position as early as Friday, August 6.

Read the full PIC report

The report contains several important recommendations, including:

  • Opening the door for a discussion about a paid, pensionable meal period for union members;
  • Calling for paid firearm practice time and a fitness allowance for officers;
  • Recommending new protections for employees in the context of discipline;
  • Encouraging the parties to negotiate expanded seniority rights for scheduling and parameters regarding student work at CBSA;
  • Recommending language that ensures officers aren’t required to work alone, the grievance procedure is streamlined, and a negotiated increase in shift premium.

With respect to wages, the report states, “It is worth noting that the settlements for the FB group in the three previous rounds of bargaining have exceeded the core public administration pattern.”

Of significance, the recently negotiated settlement for RCMP employees was reached after the Public Interest Commission hearings took place in May and, therefore, did not form any part of the PIC deliberations.

While the report was silent about remote work for non-uniformed members, and pension reform (25 and out) is outside the PIC’s jurisdiction and therefore not addressed in the report, our team will continue to push for these improvements.

Our union and the employer have agreed to return to the bargaining table to resume talks on Thursday, July 29. The FB team is hopeful that Treasury Board and CBSA will return to the bargaining table with a renewed mandate to reach a fair agreement for PSAC-CIU members.

Make sure to keep your contact information up to date via the PSAC member portal to receive all the latest updates as we prepare to negotiate your next contract.

This article has also been posted on the PSAC website.

FB bargaining: Team wraps up case at Public Interest Commission

Photo of BSO with the words "Bargaining: FB Group"

The FB bargaining team presented PSAC’s arguments for compensation parity with other law enforcement agencies across Canada at Public Interest Commission hearings May 10, 18, and 20. The team also made the case – repeatedly – that there are serious problems with harassment and abuse of authority at CBSA that need to be addressed.

As per the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act, the FB bargaining team filed for conciliation earlier this year when it became clear that the employer was not prepared to seriously address outstanding issues, including parity with other federal enforcement agencies.

The FB team also raised the need for new rights for employees, particularly as they pertain to discipline, hours of work and telework for non-uniform personnel. Our team was clear: CBSA management cannot be trusted, and FB members need better protections.

Download: PSAC’s PIC brief

Employer position

The employer responded to the team’s wage position by stating that it is inappropriate to compare members of the FB bargaining unit – including Inland Enforcement, Investigations, Intelligence and Border Services Officers – with other large law enforcement organizations such as municipal, provincial and federal police forces. The employer has indicated that there are no recruitment or retention issues at CBSA. The employer also asserted that FB-2s work as ‘trainees’, that management heavy-handedness is not a problem at CBSA and that telework protections for non-uniformed employees should not be included in the collective agreement.

FB members deserve parity

The FB team fiercely opposed all the employer’s claims. From skeleton staffing at ports of entry to officers being asked to handout recruitment flyers to the public at certain ports, clearly there are recruitment and retention problems at CBSA. As for comparator groups, our position is that a majority of PSAC/CIU members at CBSA are armed law enforcement personnel, and that compensation and other rights need to reflect this reality.

FB members have been on the front lines of the pandemic for more than 14 months. Our members have worked to keep Canada’s borders secure and Canadians safe, and deserve to be treated with respect by the employer.

Next steps

The PIC will now provide its recommendation based on the hearings.  Unlike arbitration, the recommendation is non-binding. While the legislation provides for the PIC to issue its recommendation within 30 days of the hearing, the chair may extend that timeline.

National town halls

As we prepare for the PIC recommendation, it’s important to get up to speed on the key issues at the table and learn more about the next steps in our mobilization efforts.

PSAC-CIU will be holding additional virtual town hall where you’ll hear from Customs and Immigration Union (CIU) National President Jean-Pierre Fortin and PSAC national negotiator Morgan Gay who will provide important information and insight into the bargaining process, the Public Interest Commission, and our key demands at the table. You’ll have an opportunity to ask questions or raise concerns at the end of the meeting.

French FB town hall  
May 26, 6 p.m. EST
Register now 

English FB town hall  
May 27, 6 p.m. EDT
Register now 

This article has also been posted on the PSAC website.

FB group: Register now for national town hall meetings

Photo of BSO with the words "Bargaining: FB Group"

PSAC-CIU will be holding additional virtual town hall meetings to give FB members the latest updates and outline our next steps as we ramp up to mobilize for a fair contract.

In this town hall we will hear from Customs and Immigration Union (CIU) National President Jean-Pierre Fortin and PSAC negotiator Morgan Gay who will provide important information and insight into the bargaining process, the Public Interest Commission, and our key demands at the table. You’ll have an opportunity to ask questions or raise concerns at the end of the meeting.

You deserve a contract that recognizes your incredible dedication to Canadians and brings your salary and benefits fully in line with law enforcement agencies across Canada. This is your opportunity to learn how your bargaining team is fighting to make that happen.

French FB town hall 
May 26, 6 p.m. EST
Register now

English FB town hall 
May 27, 6 p.m. EDT
Register now

Regional town halls are also being organized and will take place after the national town halls. We’ll send out dates and details when they’re available.

This article has also been posted on the PSAC website.

UPDATED — FB bargaining: Public Interest Commission dates set for May

Photo of BSO with the words "Bargaining: FB Group"

PSAC-CIU and the employer will appear before a Public Interest Commission (PIC) hearing May 10, 18 and 20. Both sides will present their arguments on the outstanding issues at the table, and then the Commission will prepare a report with its recommendations to reach a settlement.

Talks broke off in December when the FB bargaining team declared impasse over Treasury Board and Canada Border Services Agency’s refusal to address the key issues raised in negotiations.

Updated May 10, 2021:  The PSAC’s PIC brief is now available.

How a Public Interest Commission works

By law, once impasse is reached, a Public Interest Commission is established to help the parties reach an agreement. The Commission is a panel of three – a chairperson agreed upon by both parties or, if no agreement is reached, appointed by the Labour Board, as well as nominees appointed by the union and management.

The union and the employer both submit briefs and explain their positions on the outstanding issues at a hearing. The Commission then provides its recommendations for both parties to reach an agreement. Unlike arbitration, the Commission’s recommendations are not binding.

Once the PIC releases its report, the FB bargaining team will meet to discuss the recommendations. Typically, bargaining teams and the employer return to the table to resume negotiations after the PIC.

Get the latest updates on bargaining throughout the PIC process by signing up for the PSAC’s newsletter, checking out the FB page or our website.

Article originally published on March 4, 2021. This article is also available on the PSAC website

Take action to support FB members in bargaining

FB bargaining: Chair named for Public Interest Commission

Photo of BSO with the words "Bargaining: FB Group"

For the first time since the FB group was created in 2007, PSAC and Treasury Board have agreed on a chair for the Public Interest Commission that will be charged with providing recommendations in our contract dispute with Treasury Board and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

By law, once impasse is reached, a Public Interest Commission (PIC) is established to help the parties reach an agreement. The Commission is a panel of three – a chairperson agreed upon by both parties or, if no agreement is reached, appointed by the Labour Board, as well as 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 Commission. The Commission then makes a report with recommendations to reach a settlement. Unlike arbitration, the Commission’s recommendations are not binding.

Impasse reached in December

Talks broke off in December when our team declared impasse over Treasury Board/CBSA’s refusal to address the key issues we’ve raised in negotiations. For more information on the matters in dispute, visit the FB page.

Now that the chair has been named and the panel established, we are in the process of setting dates to conduct a hearing with the PIC. We’ll continue to provide updates throughout the PIC process.

Take action to support FB members in bargaining

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