On Thursday, March 15th, we received the Public Interest Commission (PIC) recommendation concerning our contract dispute with Treasury Board/CBSA. The PIC recommendation is non-binding. It is intended to guide the parties in negotiations and help provide an avenue for the parties to make progress towards an agreement but neither party is obligated to follow the recommendations of the decision.
The recommendation addresses a number of key issues that we raised in bargaining, issues that the employer has yet to adequately address, if at all.
On wages, the Commission's recommendation is the following (replication of increases provided to RCMP constables and also contained in the Correctional Services agreement):
Effective June 21, 2014 all rates to be increased by 1.25%;
Effective June 21, 2015 all rates to be increased by 1.25%;
Effective June 21, 2016 all rates to be increased by 1.25%;
Effective June 21, 2016 all rates to receive a market adjustment of a further 2.3%;
Effective June 21, 2017 all rates to be increased by 1.25%;
The Commission also proposed that the Integrated Border Services allowance be increased to $1,750 for all FB members and integrated into salary as of June 21st, 2016.
The recommendation also opens the door for serious discussion concerning a paid meal period for union members. The commission also proposed that the collective agreement includes new language around compressed work hours, telework and paid medical certificate. Furthermore, it provides protections in the context of arming and control defense tactic certification and recertification building on gains we made in our previous round of bargaining. The Commission also sided with the PSAC’s argument concerning suspensions by recommending that no employee suffer any loss in wages while on investigatory or administrative suspension. References to paid meal period, paid investigatory suspension, CDT/Firearm recertification, the compensation package - None of these were contained in any of CBSA/Treasury Board’s offers.
Having said that, we are disappointed with some of the PIC’s recommendations or lack thereof, particularly with respect to the issue of hours or work, firearm practice time, workplace surveillance, tool-up and tool-down time and market adjustment.
We have always maintained that we are ready to negotiate, and we believe this recommendation provides a starting point for discussion as the parties are returning to the bargaining table next week. With the release of this recommendation, negotiations enter into a new phase. More than ever we are determined to achieve the fair contract we all deserve. We’ll be sure to update as things progress. For our previous updates as well as a copy of our submissions to the PIC, go to: psacunion.ca/fb