Tag Archives: négos

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.

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.

Take action to support FB members in bargaining

This article is also available on the PSAC website.

PA, EB, SV, & TC groups bargaining survey: You can shape the future of work in the public service

PSAC banner illustrating a conversation

The pandemic has radically changed the way many PSAC members work. We have experienced the challenges of working remotely from home; the impact of technological changes;  the effect of an uncertain economy on job security; and the major inequalities that remain for women, racialized workers, and many other marginalized groups. These are some of the key issues that can be addressed in the next round of bargaining that begins this summer.

This next round of talks will be all about the future of work in the federal public service and you can help decide what your union bargaining team brings to the table.

Take 15 minutes to fill out our survey to make sure we address your workplace concerns at the table. Your input is essential. We need to hear directly from you about what has changed over the last year. And we need to know more about you so that we can make the case for a contract that equitably addresses our members’ diverse needs.

Your participation in this survey and the broader bargaining process is key to our success in the next round of talks.

The survey is for members in the Program and Administrative Services (PA), Technical Services (TC), Operational Services (SV) and Education and Library Science (EB) groups. It will be open until February 25, 2021.

We are also still accepting your specific proposals for improving your next contract until January 31. Your component union and PSAC will review your proposals and they, along with the survey’s results, will be discussed at a bargaining conference of member delegates from across the country who will decide the bargaining priorities.

The current collective agreements expire on the following dates:

PA: June 20, 2021
TC: June 21, 2021
SV: August 4, 2021
EB: June 30, 2021

Please keep your contact information up to date via the member portal to receive more updates as we prepare to negotiate your next contract.

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

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.

Letter from the PSAC National President to the President of the Treasury Board regarding the FB bargaining unit

Photo of CIU flag

PSAC National President Chris Aylward sent the following letter to the Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos, President of the Treasury Board, on October 26, 2020.


Dear Minister,

I am reaching out to you to provide you with information related to an equitable retirement regime for members of the FB bargaining unit (Canada Border Services Agency employees). As you may know, PSAC has been advocating for such an equitable retirement regime for FB members for many years. We are seeking an arrangement for these members that is consistent with other law enforcement officers in the federal public service, including RCMP members and Correctional Officers.

Employees in the FB bargaining unit carry out a vast range of duties associated with the enforcement of the law, including collaboration with other law enforcement, intelligence and security agencies in joint operations. Despite the ongoing pandemic, these members continue to proudly work and deliver on behalf of Canadians.

Border Services Officers (BSOs) represent most of the workers in the bargaining unit. These employees work at airports, land border and marine ports of entry, and at Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) postal operations.

BSOs have the power to seize and arrest and are required to undergo regular Control and Defence Tactics (CDT) training as a condition of employment. Since 2006, BSOs working in land border and marine environments are equipped with firearms. This arming initiative has also come to include Inland Enforcement Officers, Intelligence Officers and Investigators, all three groups also being required to undergo regular CDT training.

The nature of the work performed by members of the bargaining unit, and the fitness standards that are required for employees to perform their duties, are entirely consistent with what is found with other law enforcement agencies, be they federal such as the RCMP and Corrections, or in other jurisdictions such as the Ontario Provincial Police and the Sureté du Québec. It is because of the work and the fitness standards associated with the work that these other law enforcement agencies have adopted early retirement regimes. Simply put, it is increasingly difficult for officers as they advance in age to meet the standards required. Employers are required under Human Rights Legislation to accommodate up until undue hardship. Early retirement regimes alleviate this burden on employers and staff. The same is true in the case of CBSA.

Given the nature of the work performed by employees in the FB bargaining unit and the crucial importance of that work in terms of ensuring the safety and security of Canadians, it is in the interest of both the federal government and the broader Canadian public that employees in this occupational group have access to an early retirement regime to avoid risks to public health and safety.

It is only fair that workers in the FB bargaining unit are afforded benefits that are comparable to that of other law enforcement officers. Other federal public service workers facing similar workplace demands, such as Correctional Officers, already have this type of retirement regime.

As such we have been advocating for CBSA members to be able to access retirement without penalty 5 years earlier than existing Group 1 members of the Public Service Pension Plan, consistent with operational service provisions for employees of Correctional Services Canada.

In order to achieve equitable retirement for FB members specifically, changes are required to the Public Service Superannuation Act and its regulations.

FB members have been advocating for an equitable retirement regime for many years. The issue is before a sub-committee of the Public Service Pension Advisory Committee. We are urging you to support the work of PSPAC and to support legislative changes to allow for CBSA employees to access the same early retirement provisions that are available to many law enforcement officers across the country.

Further, we would welcome the chance to meet with you via videoconference to discuss this important matter at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely,

Chris Aylward
PSAC National President

Click here for the PDF version.