Tag Archives: #CIUvictories

2010: Family status accommodation

Photo of BSO with the word Victories superimposed

This is the fifth vignette in a series celebrating our union victories.

The 2010 groundbreaking Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ‘Johnstone Decision’ shaped the future of accommodations related to family status.

As a Border Services Officer, Fiona Johnstone required a fixed-shift schedule to arrange for child care. The employer refused to consider her request, arguing that it had no obligation under the Canadian Human Rights Act to accommodate what it deemed to be her personal choices around childcare. PSAC and CIU supported Ms Johnstone at every step throughout the ensuing lengthy legal battle. Ultimately, the Tribunal found CBSA had discriminated against Ms. Johnstone by failing to accommodate her family obligations.

In 2014, in a further blow to the employer’s narrow approach to family status accommodation, the Court of Appeal upheld the decision, confirming that human rights legislation is to be interpreted in a broad manner and that family status includes child care and other legal family obligations.

Photo of an infant holding a parent's hand, with text explaining how the union won a victory known as the Johnstone Decision, regarding family status accommodation

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For more union victories, see this page, and follow us on social media using #CIUvictories.

1996: Joint Police & Peace Officers Memorial Service

Photo of BSO with the word Victories superimposed

Our fourth historical vignette highlights an important step in border officers being recognized as part of the law enforcement community. 

As a founding member of the Canadian Peace Officers Memorial Association, CIU (then CEUDA) was instrumental in ensuring that border officers be present on Parliament Hill to pay homage to those who paid the ultimate price.

A memorial service had first been held in 1977 to honour police and federal correctional officers. By 1994, thanks to union involvement, a separate ceremony was also held specifically for Peace Officers. Finally, in 1996, for the first time in history, Canadian Police Officers and Peace Officers held a joint memorial service on Parliament Hill to honour those who lost their lives in the line of duty.

Today, we can be proud of our Sisters and Brothers who, every year, stand beside their law enforcement colleagues to honour their fallen.

Two border services officers, with text on the creation of the join police and peace officers memorial service

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For more union victories, see this page, and follow us on social media using #CIUvictories.

2006: Arming Initiative

Photo of BSO with the word Victories superimposed

The third entry in our series celebrating our union milestones takes a look at a major turning point for border officers.

The arming of officers did not happen overnight. CIU (then CEUDA) had to lobby for years to convince the government that arming border officers was as important as providing protective vests and general safety equipment.

Pressure on the employer reached a peak in the early 2000s. The government’s position at the time was that border officers should let the police deal with dangerous situations, going so far as to compare the role of border officers to that of bank tellers. Ill-equipped to defend themselves and perform their duties, border officers were understandably frustrated.

Through work refusals, coast-to-coast consultations, and in-depth studies, the union wore out the employer’s objections and found support with the public. Finally, in 2006, the arming initiative became reality, with then 1st National VP Jean-Pierre Fortin (now National President) noting in 2007 that it represented “the largest cultural shift facing border services and [CIU] in our collective pasts.”

Close-up of a BSO with a gun, with text explaining how the union fought for its members to be armed

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For more union victories, see this page, and follow us on social media using #CIUvictories.

2000: Body Armour

Photo of BSO with the word Victories superimposed

Every two weeks, we’re releasing a short vignette showcasing a victory or an event of importance in the history of our union. Here is the second entry in the series.

At the turn of the millennium, after years of pressure by the union, the government had yet to provide protective vests in suitable numbers to its Customs Officers. Through lobbying in the 90s, CIU (then CEUDA) had succeeded in pressuring the employer to start providing bullet-proof vests to its officers. By 1999, however, the government had only acquired a mere 400 such vests Canada-wide, at times going so far in some ports as distributing them by lottery to officers.

Faced with an employer unwilling to provide adequate protective vests to all officers in a timely fashion, the union launched a massive awareness campaign, attracting the attention of various American police associations. Ultimately, in well-publicized displays of solidarity, the union received hundreds of vests in donation from these associations.

Shamed into doing the right thing, the government relented and announced in early 2000 that budget would be allocated to ensure that all border officers would be provided with a vest. Today, thanks to pressure from CIU and its members, soft body armour is part of the standard equipment available to all Border Officers.

Photo of BSO with text explaining how the union obtained body armour for its members (same text as on page)

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For more union victories, see this page, and follow us on social media using #CIUvictories.

2007: Creation of the FB group

Photo of BSO with the word Victories superimposed

As a show of support for our FB bargaining team returning to the table this week, we present our first vignette on union victories: The creation of the FB group, in 2007.

If border officers have a distinct voice today, it is thanks to the continued pressure and efforts of CIU and the support of PSAC. After years of lobbying by the union and its members, a stand-alone FB group was created in 2007, giving front-line personnel their own collective agreement and paving the way for true recognition as law enforcement. Prior to the FB group, these members were part of the much larger PA group. With this new structure, they took control of their own bargaining and representation.

Since the creation of the FB group, CIU and PSAC have succeeded in securing a remarkable 48% increase in compensation for front-line officers – the largest increase for law enforcement personnel achieved by any union in Canada since 2007.

Photo of BSO and dog with text explaining the creation of the FB group (same text as on the page)

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For more union victories, see this page, and follow us on social media using #CIUvictories.