Tag Archives: FB

FB Bargaining: Definition of years of service will remain the same

Photo of a BSO giving back a passport to a traveller - Photo d'une ASF redonnant un passeport à un voyageur

A majority of PSAC-Customs and Immigration Union (PSAC-CIU) members voted to keep the existing definition of years of service in the collective agreement. As a result, the Border Services (FB) bargaining team will not be seeking any changes to the years of service definition.

Online and telephone voting was held between February 18 and March 1.

Due to the unprecedented nature of this vote, and given that it is not a ratification vote governed by Regulation 15, PSAC-CIU is releasing a breakdown of the vote:

Options Votes Share (%)
1 — I support the Union taking the position in negotiations that the definition of years of service (seniority) should be changed to include time in the Canadian Forces as defined in Article 34.03 a) ii) for all areas of the collective agreement where years of service is applied. 816 40.5
2 —  I support leaving the definition of service as it is currently defined in the collective agreement. 1,197 59.5
Total 2,013 100

For the latest bargaining news, visit psacunion.ca/fb. You can also sign up for email bargaining updates.

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

FB Bargaining: Limited progress during second meeting

Photo of a BSO - Photo d'un ASF

The PSAC-CIU bargaining team representing the Border Services (FB) group met with Treasury Board/CBSA the week of February 25 for a second negotiating session towards a new collective agreement.

Harassment protections

In light of CBSA’s February 27 ‘Pink Shirt Day’ initiative to raise awareness about harassment in the workplace, the bargaining team reminded CBSA and Treasury Board that there are serious problems with abuse of authority and harassment by management in CBSA workplaces across the country. Considering these serious, ongoing problems, the union is looking for much greater protections against harassment from CBSA management in the next contract.

Telework

The bargaining team asked CBSA about its plans on telework and presented formal proposals for new collective agreement articles on the matter. PSAC-CIU has been pushing for years for greater access to teleworking opportunities for Trade Compliance officers and other non-uniformed personnel.

The team also reminded CBSA that, under the law, the Agency must consult the union and gain the union’s consent before moving forward with any changes in the current terms and conditions of employment. The Agency has effectively ignored the Treasury Board policy on telework for many years.

Maternity and Parental Leave

The union proposed a 93% top up for the new 18-month maternity and parental leave option introduced by the government in 2017. The employer rejected this but the bargaining team indicated it will continue maintaining this proposal.

Click here to review PSAC-CIU’s package of proposals as well as those of the employer.

The next negotiating session will be held the week of April 8. For more information visit psacunion.ca/fb

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

FB vote on years of service accrual: Everything you need to know to vote

Picture of a Border Services Officer with the words FB Bargaining

The FB bargaining team, with support of PSAC-CIU, recently decided to take the unprecedented step of calling a membership vote on the issue of years of service accrual. You can read the bargaining team’s reasons for calling the vote here. The FB bargaining team and PSAC-CIU will be taking no official position on the issue of years of service accrual until the vote is complete.

If you are a member of the FB bargaining unit, please read the following carefully.

The online vote will take place between 8:30 AM on February 18 and 12 PM (noon) on March 1st (ET). A simple majority of those members who vote will decide the outcome and determine the position taken by the bargaining team on the years of service accrual issue in negotiations. The vote is secret and strictly confidential.

What are FB members voting on?

FB members will have the opportunity to vote on whether the union should take the position in this round of bargaining to keep the definition of “years of service” as is, or to have previous time in the Canadian Forces also apply for the years of service definition for:

  1. Line selection for shift workers.
  2. Processes for determining who works on a DPH for shift workers.
  3. Vacation selection for everyone in the bargaining unit.
  4. Determining who can access voluntary programs under the Workforce Adjustment Appendix in the event there are excess volunteers.

Note: Previous time in the Canadian Forces is already included in the calculation of vacation leave credits

Ballot wording

Option 1 — I support the Union taking the position in negotiations that the definition of years of service (seniority) should be changed to include time in the Canadian Forces as defined in Article 34.03 a) ii) for all areas of the collective agreement where years of service is applied.

Option 2 — I support leaving the definition of service as it is currently defined in the collective agreement.

Online information sessions (webinars)

This is an unprecedented vote and is not governed by PSAC’s Regulation 15. Therefore, online information sessions (webinars) being offered to members are not a prerequisite for voting. Nevertheless, PSAC-CIU encourages members to participate in the webinars to ensure all questions and concerns are addressed before voting.

The following webinars are available for FB members. To register, please click on the session you would like to participate in.

English French
Wednesday February 20 at 4 PM (ET) Wednesday February 20 at 3 PM (ET)
Friday February 22 at 12 PM/noon (ET) Friday February 22 at 1 PM (ET)
Wednesday February 27 at 6 PM (ET) Wednesday February 27 at 7 PM (ET)

How to cast a vote

Voter information package

In order to vote, you will need to receive a voter information package. This will be sent to the home email address we have on file for you on February 18. If we do not have a home email address for you, we will send you the package via regular mail on February 13.

If you are in the FB bargaining unit but are not a union member (i.e. you have not signed your union membership card), you will first have to sign a union membership card if you choose to participate in the vote. In such a situation, please contact your local or your PSAC regional office to make arrangements as soon as possible.

If you have not received your package by email or regular mail by February 18, please contact the closest PSAC regional office to you.

PIN and website/phone number to vote

The voter information package will include the PIN required to vote. It will also include the website address and phone number to cast a vote. You will only be able to vote once, either on the web or by phone.

Voting period

You may vote any time between 8:30 AM on February 18 and 12 PM/noon on March 1 (ET).

Where to get help with the vote

Your voter information package will include a PSAC helpline number for all questions related to the vote. If you have not received your package by email or regular mail by February 18, please contact the closest PSAC regional office to you.

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

FB bargaining: Membership vote on the issue of years of service accrual

Picture of a Border Services Officer with the words FB Bargaining

Letter from the FB Bargaining Team

To our co-workers in the FB bargaining unit:

In the 1st FB contract our union negotiated seniority rights in the context of line and vacation selection. Seniority was based on an individual’s years of service as an employee in the federal public service (seniority of course is referred to as ‘years of service’ in our collective agreement). In 2011, because of years of lobbying by PSAC, the government at the time finally agreed to recognize military service for vacation accrual and hence our bargaining team at the time signed off on it in negotiations.

However, when the collective agreement was implemented in 2013 CBSA management took the position that there were two definitions of years of service – one for line selection and one for vacation scheduling. CBSA was including previous military time in the calculation of years of service for the purposes of vacation scheduling. Our union grieved as this is not what the parties had agreed to, and because there were complaints from members because management’s interpretation bumped those without military service down the seniority list.

The union lost the grievance, but as a result of the agreement reached and ratified by the membership last year the parties have returned to the definition of years of service that was agreed upon in 2009 – that years of service for vacation scheduling is now the same as years of service for hours of work scheduling (i.e. based exclusively on your time as an employee in the public service).

Under federal law, a non-civilian member of the Canadian Forces is not an ‘employee’, is not working in the public service, cannot join a union, cannot pay dues and is subject to a separate pension regime. As a result, under our current agreement time spent as a non-civilian member of the Canadian Forces counts only for the accrual of vacation time, and not for the purposes of years of service accrual for line-selection, vacation selection and in the context if ‘H’ing on Designated Paid Holidays.

In preparation for this round of negotiations our union received contradictory input from the membership on this issue, with some advocating for the current definition and others calling on the union to propose that non-civilian military time be included in years of service accrual for line bidding, vacation selection and for the purposes of ‘H’ing.

Years of service accrual – seniority – is a unique collective bargaining issue in that it affects each employee differently as no two employees have the same work history. But it is a right that affects everyone in the FB group. It is also an issue that has stirred passionate debate in the membership.

In light of these facts our Bargaining Team has decided, with the support of CIU/PSAC, to take the unprecedented step of calling a membership vote on the issue of years of service accrual.

All union members in good standing in the FB group will have the right to vote either in favour of maintaining the current definition of years of service accrual (based on time in the public service) for the purposes of scheduling and vacation selection, or in favour of changing the definition to include previous time in the Canadian Forces for the purposes of service accrual.

Our Bargaining Team and our Union will be taking no official position on the issue until the vote is completed. A simple majority of those members who vote will decide the outcome. The outcome of the vote will determine the position taken by the Bargaining Team on the issue in negotiations.

There will be more information forthcoming over the coming days concerning the logistics of the vote. Please be sure to speak with your CIU Branch President with any questions, and be sure to check psacunion.ca/fb regularly for updates.

In solidarity,

– The FB Bargaining Team

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

FB Bargaining: Union Pushes for New Protections, Work-Life Balance

Picture of a Border Services Officer with the words FB Bargaining

Employer seeks to eliminate scheduling rights, attacks Care and Nurturing Leave.

On January 7-10, the PSAC/CIU’s Border Services (FB) bargaining team kicked off a new round of bargaining, meeting with Treasury Board and Canada Border Services Agency (TB/CBSA) negotiators and exchanging proposals.

The team made it clear to the TB/CBSA that the union’s goals for this round of bargaining are to further close the gap with the broader law enforcement community, fix problems in the workplace and ensure new rights and protections.

Below are some key proposals from PSAC/CIU:

New protections

  • New protections in the context of discipline, and protections against abuse of authority and harassment.
  • Elimination of name tags for uniformed officers, replacing them with badge numbers.
  • New protections in the context of firearm and control defence tactics re-certification.
  • Whistleblowing protections so that union members can expose wrongdoing.

Appropriate pay for recruits and new officers

  • Immediate transition to the FB-3 pay rate upon graduation from Rigaud.

Work-life balance

  • Improvements to various leave provisions.
  • Fixes to on-going scheduling and overtime problems.
  • Telework options for Trade Compliance and other non-uniformed members.
  • Protections that would ensure improved access to Leave with Income Averaging.

Retirement Reform

  • Seeking a commitment from Treasury Board and CBSA in bargaining for an early retirement regime comparable to other federal law enforcement agencies.

The bargaining team will be making proposals concerning wages once it has had the opportunity to analyze payroll and demographic data provided by the TB/CBSA. PSAC/CIU will also be conducting a survey on compensation in the broader law enforcement community in Canada.

Management tabled a number of significant concessions, from the elimination of scheduling rights to draconian changes to the Care and Nurturing Leave. While the union told management it is committed to bargaining in good faith, the union also made it clear it will not accept concessions.

The next bargaining session is scheduled for February 26.

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