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Tentative PSAC Agreement: CBSA Workers Secure 15.7% Wage Increase Over 4 Years

Tentative PSAC Agreement: CBSA Workers Secure 15.7% Wage Increase Over 4 Years

The four-year PSAC agreement spans from June 2022 to June 2026 and comes after nearly two years without a contract.

After almost two years without a contract, a tentative PSAC agreement was reached with the Customs and Immigration Union (CIU), securing a compounded increase in wages of 15.73% for Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) workers. It also features stronger workplace protections and various improvements for both uniformed and non-uniformed members.

An expected CBSA strike was delayed at the last minute, allowing negotiations to continue. This decision came just before the 4 p.m. EST deadline for job action.

Border Services (FB) group members will be invited to participate in an online ratification of the PSAC agreement. The FB bargaining team unanimously recommends a YES vote.

The vote will begin June 20 and end July 4 at 12 p.m. ET.

Union leaders praise PSAC agreement

This significant achievement reflects the dedicated efforts of the FB bargaining team and the strong solidarity shown by union members.

“Our bargaining team worked tirelessly to secure the best contract for our members, and this tentative agreement is a testament to their incredible hard work and dedication,” said Sharon DeSousa, PSAC National President. “This is a well-deserved victory for our members at CBSA who safeguard our nation’s borders and ensure the safety and security of all Canadians.”

The agreement, reached after nine days of intense negotiations, prevents potential job action at Canada’s borders.

“I’m proud of the solidarity our members have shown over the past two years of negotiations,” added Mark Weber, CIU National President. “Our bargaining team couldn’t have achieved this agreement without the support of thousands of members across the country who stood behind them.”

Summary of the tentative PSAC agreement

Duration and Wage Increases

The four-year agreement, expiring on June 20, 2026, includes wage increases totaling 14.8% over four years, retroactive to June 2022. This amounts to a compounded increase of 15.73%.

The increases surpass those offered to other major Canadian law enforcement agencies and include:

  • 3.5% + 1.25% for a total compounded increase of 4.8%, effective June 21, 2022
  • 3% + 2.8% for a total compounded increase of 5.9%, effective June 21, 2023
  • 2% + 0.25% for a total compounded increase of 2.255%, effective June 21, 2024
  • 2%, effective June 21, 2025

One-Time Lump-Sum Payment

PSAC was able to secure a pensionable $2,500 lump-sum payment that will be given to all employees in the bargaining unit at the time of signing.

For members nearing retirement, the lump sum payment from their pension will be based on their average salary for the best five years of service, which will increase their overall pension payments during retirement.

Additional Monetary Gains

  • An increase in shift and weekend premiums by 12.5%, from $2.00 to $2.25 per hour. The premiums are now the highest in the federal law enforcement community and greatly exceed those of other major law enforcement organizations such as the OPP and Sûreté du Québec
  • An annual reimbursement of up to $500 for plain clothes purchases for members in Intelligence, Investigations, and Inland Enforcement
  • A new annual Hearings Officer allowance of $500
  • A new annual $1000 pensionable allowance for non-uniform employees
  • A reimbursement by the employer of up to $35 for medical certificate costs

Leave Improvements

  • Access to four weeks of vacation leave after seven years of employment (previously eight years)
  • Improved travel time benefits, including reduced nights required to access additional leave
  • Expanded Family-Related Responsibility and Bereavement Leave

Protections Around Technological Changes

The PSAC agreement offers new mechanisms for meaningful discussion with the union on proposed technological changes and protections during the introduction of new systems and software.

Discipline and Investigations

For the first time, PSAC has included new language in the agreement to ensure employees have access to union representation in all meetings conducted by CBSA management–including Professional Standards Investigations. Moreover, efforts will be made to conduct investigations within a reasonable time frame.

Hours of Work and Variable Shift Scheduling Agreements

PSAC has successfully resisted employer concessions regarding working hours and Variable Shift Scheduling Agreements (VSSAs). The union has retained the ability to negotiate VSSAs at the local level and safeguarded the right of union members to vote on local VSSAs.

The PSAC agreement includes a provision that establishes a new committee responsible for discussing seniority-based line bidding, which expands on the current language in the collective agreement. PSAC also advocated for members' rights to take Leave Without Pay for Family Care without reference to operational requirements.

Implementation and Telework

If the implementation period exceeds 180 days and the owed amount is over $500, a $200 lump sum per member will be paid by the employer.

In a letter of agreement, the FB bargaining team secured terms aligned with Treasury Board collective agreements. This requires managers to assess remote work requests on an individual basis, provide written responses, and ensure equitable and fair decision-making on remote work, which can be held accountable by members and PSAC.

Employee rights concerning remote work arrangements will be safeguarded through a grievance process. At the final step of the process, any unresolved grievances can be escalated to a joint union-management panel for review in each department. This panel will address issues pertaining to the employer's implementation of the remote work directive in the workplace.

In addition to the agreement signed between PSAC and the Treasury Board, CBSA's president has committed in writing to establish a national joint CIU-CBSA committee to engage in consultations regarding the hybrid work model at CBSA. The committee has committed to meeting before September 2024.

PSAC and the Treasury Board have agreed to establish a joint committee to review and update the government's telework policy, which was last updated in 2020 before the pandemic began.

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