FB bargaining: Telework and contracting out top of mind for team

The FB bargaining team raised several priority issues for discussion — including telework, job protections, and being assigned to work hours in another location — when they met with Treasury Board and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) September 27-29 to continue talks for a new collective agreement. 

PSAC-CIU is calling for transparency and fairness around members’ access to telework with entrenched language in the collective agreement that would guarantee those rights. Telework is here to stay at CBSA and the agreement should reflect the new reality of work. 

The team also called for an end to contracting out with a proposal that indicates only unionized members are authorized to do work for CBSA. The employer has already contracted out work done by our inland enforcement members, made dramatic changes at ports of entry, and exploited the use of student workers, putting Canadians’ safety at risk and resulting in worsening wait times.  

Finally, the bargaining team discussed their proposal to ensure CBSA recognizes and respects the seniority of workers who request to permanently work shifts at different ports, including ports in other regions. As is too often the case, there is currently no transparency with this process. Workers need new protections as management has proven time and time again they can’t be trusted. 

PSAC-CIU files complaint with labour board 

CBSA recently made unilateral changes to our members’ working conditions, including telework, contracting out FB duties, ArriveCAN, and designated paid holidays. PSAC-CIU didn’t agree to these changes and believes they’re illegal.  

As a result, PSAC-CIU filed an unfair labour practice complaint with the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board against the employer for violating its obligation to maintain working conditions and bargain in good faith. 

Next steps 

Wage proposals will be submitted at a future session once the employer provides payroll data. The team will return to the table in November.   

Please be sure to keep your contact information up to date to receive all the latest updates about bargaining. If you have any questions, please contact your branch president or your PSAC regional office. 

October 3, 2022