Tag Archives: impasse

FB bargaining: Talks break off with Treasury Board/CBSA

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

The FB bargaining team has declared impasse in negotiations with Treasury Board and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) after the employer failed to make substantial progress towards addressing critical issues in negotiations for nearly 9,000 FB members.

The team has put forward reasonable proposals on key matters impacting FB members, but the employer has refused to address them in a meaningful way and is seeking serious and unacceptable concessions, forcing the team to break off negotiations.

Consistent with federal legislation, PSAC-CIU has filed for a Public Interest Commission (PIC) to provide recommendations on the next steps to reach a settlement. The FB bargaining team and union leaders will be meeting in the coming weeks to discuss next steps beyond filing for a PIC.

What happens when impasse is declared?

Serving Canadians

Every day, FB members put their lives on the line to protect Canadians; safeguarding our borders, inspecting dangerous goods and screening travellers for COVID-19 from coast to coast. Many FB members have contracted COVID-19 while performing their duties.

FB members have been without a contract for more than two years at a time when Canadians are relying on them more than ever to keep them safe. They deserve much better.

Despite their essential contributions, the federal government and CBSA still refuse to offer a fair contract that recognizes the value of their work and that brings them in line with law enforcement agencies across Canada.

Key issues at the table:

  • Compensation: Ensure that FB members’ rights and compensation are brought fully in line with law enforcement agencies across Canada. Management has rejected this proposal. This is unacceptable, as it fails to address our wage disparity with the broader law enforcement community. Other federal public safety officers represented by PSAC – fisheries officers, park wardens and parole officers – all received better compensation packages than the framework that has been tabled for the FB group. CBSA also continues to insist on a practice where FB-2s are effectively used as a cheap labour force.
  • Retirement reform: Commit to supporting early retirement to members of the FB bargaining unit after they’ve served for 25 years, similar to other federal law enforcement agencies. Treasury Board and CBSA have refused to address this issue.
  • Workplace flexibility: Provide fair access to telework and leave with income averaging, particularly for non-uniform members. CBSA does not follow Treasury Board policy on these issues. Language is needed in the collective agreement to address these issues, as clearly CBSA cannot be trusted.
  • New protections: Provide better protections from CBSA management in the context of discipline (PSI and SRI), surveillance, abuse of authority, whistleblowing, use of students and the reimbursement for medical certificates. Management is refusing to address these concerns.
  • Hours of work: A paid meal period in line with other law enforcement agencies, as well as better rights for shift-working members such as enhanced seniority rights and paid firearm practice time. CBSA and Treasury Board have done nothing to address these issues.

No concessions

Management is seeking serious concessions, including the watering down of Variable Shift Schedule Arrangement (VSSA) protections, the introduction of national VSSAs, shorter shift-change notice and making care and nurturing leave subject to operational requirements and a minimum of 12 weeks of leave. These concessions are unacceptable.

Take action to support FB members in bargaining – Click here to send a letter!

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

PA, SV, EB & TC groups: PSAC declares bargaining impasse as Liberals fail to deliver


PSAC’s bargaining teams are declaring impasse after the Liberal government failed to make substantial progress towards a new contract. Teams representing 90,000 public service workers met with government officials from April 30 to May 2.

“PSAC members are incredibly disappointed and frustrated that, after almost a year of talks, the government squandered this critical opportunity to negotiate a fair contract for public service workers before the House rises for the federal election,” said Chris Aylward, PSAC National President. “We’ve been left with no choice but to declare impasse and start the process that will lead to strike preparations.”

Rather than focusing on making quick progress at the table, the government waited two days to present what it claimed to be a comprehensive package of proposals. While some proposals, taken alone, leaned in the right direction, these were contingent on the union agreeing to unacceptable contract concessions.

After three years of the Phoenix nightmare, PSAC will not return to the table until the government shows a genuine willingness to deliver the fair deal our members deserve.

Falling short on pay and retro

The Trudeau government’s offer of 1.5 per cent in each year of four years falls well below the rate of inflation and short of the nearly 2 per cent pay raise given to Members of Parliament on May 1. Also, the government wants workers to wait for up to 18 months after the new contract is signed to receive retroactive pay. The current retro pay implementation period is 5 months.

Concessions on mental health and child care, resistance on breastfeeding breaks

The government is also insisting on dissolving the existing Memorandum of Understanding on mental health (MOU) and refusing the union’s proposals to replace it with an updated framework, putting at risk years of joint progress on this issue. Moreover, the government is refusing to implement recommendations stemming from a previous child care MOU, and is resisting our proposal to allow nursing women breastfeeding breaks. These positions are at odds with the Liberals’ claimed feminist agenda and the right to breastfeed in the Canada Labour Code.

“PSAC made it clear over the last few months that this bargaining session was Trudeau’s last chance to restore a respectful relationship with public service workers—as he promised to do back in 2015,” added Aylward. “If he’s not willing to make this right before the next election, I know PSAC members won’t forget it when they head to the ballot box.”

PSAC had previously declared bargaining impasse in December, following the government’s insulting offer of a two-year wage freeze but agreed to return to the table to give Trudeau ample opportunity to make things right.

PSAC remains committed to achieving a new contract that improves work-life balance, strengthens job security, closes wage gaps with the private sector, and ensures fair economic increases.

The bargaining sessions covered four bargaining units under Treasury Board: Program & Administrative Services (PA)Technical Services (TC)Operations Services (SV), and Education & Library Science (EB).

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

Video: PA, EB, SV & TC Bargaining Update – PSAC is Declaring Impasse as Liberals Table a 2-year Wage Freeze


During the latest bargaining talks, the Liberal government proposed a 2-year wage freeze for the 90,000 PSAC members whose departments fall under Treasury Board negotiations. Following the talks, we declared bargaining impasse and filed for a Public Interest Commission. Watch the following video to understand how we got here. Continue reading

Bargaining Has Reached An Impasse: PSAC Files for a Public Interest Commission

Bargaining impasse

The PSAC/CIU Bargaining Team for the FB group spent three days in mediation with Treasury Board and CBSA during the week of January 30. Given the refusal of Treasury Board and CBSA to address FB group priorities, the Bargaining Team has declared impasse.

As part of our ongoing campaign for respect for the border services group, PSAC filed for a Public Interest Commission (PIC) for the Border Services group on February 8, 2017. The group’s critical public safety duties deserve the same recognition given to other law enforcement officers.

Next Step

Under federal law, the PIC is the next step in the collective bargaining process when the parties reach impasse. Over the coming weeks CIU and PSAC will be consulting with branches across the country to prepare next steps in our efforts to get Treasury Board and the CBSA to finally address the issues our FB bargaining team have raised in negotiations.

We’ll be sure to provide updates as things progress. Please see the page What If Talks Break Down for more information on the PIC. For more information on FB bargaining, speak with your CIU Branch President, or sign-up for PSAC email updates.

Parts of this article were originally published on the PSAC website.