CFIA bargaining: Labour Board sets Public Interest Commission for March

The Labour Board has set March 30 and 31, 2020, for the Public Interest Commission (PIC) hearing.  

PSAC had initially filed for a PIC in August, after talks with the CFIA reached impasse, but the employer responded by asking the Board to delay its creation. The Board considered this request but rejected it in late September. 

Despite CFIA’s attempts to delay the bargaining process, PSAC remains committed to advancing member demands through the PIC process. These include: 

  • Improved work life-balance, such as more leave for family-related responsibilities; 

  • Strengthened job security; 

  • Fair wage increases; 

  • Compensation for all work performed (for inspectors, such as those working in abattoirs, currently not paid for prep and clean-up time) 

What is a Public Interest Commission (PIC)?  

By law, once impasse is reached, a PIC is established to help the parties reach an agreement. The PIC is a panel of three people – a chairperson appointed by the Labour Board and nominees appointed by the union and management. The union and the employer submit briefs and explain their positions on the outstanding issues at a hearing with the PIC. The PIC then issues a report with recommendations for settlement. The recommendations are not binding.  

Once the PIC releases its report, PSAC's bargaining team will reconvene to discuss the recommendations. Typically, PSAC’s team and government representatives then return to the table to resume negotiations.  

Will we strike?  

PSAC is committed to pressing the newly elected government for a fair deal that addresses members’ concerns. However, if PSAC and the CFIA are still unable to reach an agreement after the PIC reports are issued, members will have the opportunity to take a strike vote.  

History has taught us that the best way to avoid strikes is to prepare for one. Therefore, PSAC will ensure that strike readiness training is offered to members in the coming months.  

PSAC will also provide updates on the PIC process and other bargaining developments as appropriate. Please stay in touch with the local at your workplace and, if you haven’t done so yet, sign-up for e-mail bargaining updates here

PSAC at CFIA : Bargaining for our future!  

Atlantic: Jan Pennington
Québec: Audrey St-Germain
National Capital Region: Marlene O’Neil
Ontario: Robert MacDonald
Manitoba: Andrew Neufeld
Saskatchewan: Karen Zoller
Alberta: Dorothy McRae
British Columbia: Terri Lee

Negotiator: Hassan Husseini
Research Officer: Silja Freitag


November 19, 2019