In addition to the full ratification kit containing the details of the new CFIA agreement, here are more details on key improvements, including fair wage increases, improved job security, and better work-life balance.
The CFIA bargaining team unanimously recommends ratification of the agreement. The full ratification kit will be available in the coming days.
CFIA wage increases
Year of the agreement
3% + 0.5%*
Total compounded wage increase
*Wage adjustment of a minimum of 0.5% for all occupational groups
Your bargaining team negotiated wage increases totaling at least 12.6%, compounded over the life of the agreement (retroactive to January 1, 2022 and expiring December 31, 2025). The team also negotiated a fourth year in the agreement that protects members from inflation, which is projected by the Bank of Canada to be 2.3% by 2025.
In addition, your bargaining team also secured a pensionable one-time lump sum payment of $2,500 applicable to all members of the bargaining unit employed at the time of signing the agreement. This represents an additional 3.5% of salary for the average CFIA member. For members approaching retirement, the pensionable lump sum payment will contribute to their average salary for the best five years of service.
Wage adjustments in the third year of the agreement
CFIA members, except for the sub-groups listed below, will all receive a 0.5% pay line adjustment on January 1, 2024, for a compounded wage increase of 12.6% over four years.
All CFIA members in the GL-MAM, GL-MDO, and HP groups and sub-groups will receive a 3% market adjustment, for a compounded wage increase of 15.39%.
The compounded wage increases listed in the table above include general economic increases, wage adjustments, and market or pay line adjustments over the four-year term of the agreement. The one-time, lump sum $2,500 payment is in addition to these totals.
Higher shift premiums
An increase from $2/hour to $2.25/hour for weekend premiums improves compensation for members working weekend shifts away from their families.
Retention of compensation advisors
The retention allowance for compensation advisors (AS-01, AS-02, and AS-03) will be increased from $2,500 to $3,500/year. This retention allowance will now match the retention allowance paid to compensation advisors working in pay pods in the Public Service and Procurement Canada Pay Centre (CR-05, AS-01, AS-02, AS-03 or AS-04).
Better work-life balance
Better vacation leave accruals
Members of the bargaining unit will be able to access four weeks of vacation leave a year earlier: at seven years of employment instead of eight years of employment.
One-time vacation leave replacing marriage leave with a one-time vacation leave allows members to enjoy an additional five days of paid leave, even if they have already taken marriage leave.
Leave for Indigenous practices
A diverse workforce with strong Indigenous representation creates a better public service for all. The addition of two days of paid leave and three days of unpaid leave for Indigenous employees to engage in traditional Indigenous practices, including hunting, fishing and harvesting, will help to attract and retain more Indigenous workers and recognize their lived experiences.
Improved leave provisions
Some key changes will help members during serious family events. Members can now use leave with pay for family-related responsibilities to visit a family member who is nearing the end of their life, and the scope of bereavement leave was expanded to include aunt and uncle.
Better working conditions
New and improved telework language
PSAC members will now be protected from arbitrary decisions about telework. Your bargaining team has negotiated language in a letter of agreement that requires managers to assess remote work requests individually, not by group, and provide written responses that will allow members and PSAC to hold the employer accountable to equitable and fair decision-making on remote work. Having all telework requests reviewed on an individual basis will prevent future "one size fits all" type mandates like the government announced in December last year.
That means employee rights around telework arrangements will be protected through a grievance process, and grievances that are not settled prior to the final step of the grievance process can be referred to a new joint union-management panel for review.
PSAC and CFIA have also agreed to create a joint committee to review and update the Agency’s Work Arrangement Policy if necessary.
Once the joint committee has been struck, the panel has been created and the joint committee has finalized its review of the policy and releases its findings, PSAC members can begin to challenge decisions on their remote work arrangements based on the new language negotiated, and the union can begin working with the employer to review the overall policy.
Wash-up time and prep-time for inspectors working in abattoirs
Your bargaining team renewed and expanded the MOU for wash-up time, ensuring that concerns about wash-up time will continue to be heard and addressed across the country. An additional joint sub-committee will review and discuss PSAC’s concerns about lengthy preparatory time (tooling up and tooling down) for inspectors to find solutions and make recommendations to address the issues in the short- and long-term.
Joint Learning Program
The Agency agrees to provide funding to participate in the Joint Learning Program (JLP), allowing members to continue to benefit from JLP programming to help create a more positive, healthy, and respectful workplace.
Safer and more inclusive workplaces
The Agency commits to consider the recommendations of the Joint Committee formed by Treasury Board and the Alliance to review existing training courses related to employment equity, diversity, and inclusion and informal conflict management systems.
Better job security and employment transition provisions
Employment transition situations
The employer will be required to provide additional information and feedback to employees and PSAC in the event of layoffs or restructuring at CFIA.
The entitlement for counselling services during employment transition will increase from $1,000 to $1,200.
PSAC and Treasury Board agreed to submit a joint proposal to the Public Service Commission of Canada to include seniority rights in the Workforce Adjustment (Employment Transition) process in situations where reasonable job offers can be made to some but not all surplus employees in a given work location. The Agency agreed to a meaningful consultation process should PSAC and Treasury Board be successful in their application.
Protections against contracting out
Privatization and contracting out of CFIA jobs leads to higher costs, higher risk, and reduced quality of the important services our members provide for Canadians. Your bargaining team negotiated language to ensure that in the event of layoffs, preference shall be given to the retention of PSAC members over outside contractors already working with the CFIA. This language will protect your jobs and reduce contracting out of employees.
Other gains at the bargaining table
- Increased cap to attend appointments with legal, paralegal, financial, and other professional representatives.
- Expansion of the types of activities for which union leave can be requested.
- New provisions for electronic bulletin boards to post union notices.
- Joint commitment to consider the outcome of TBS-PSAC review of Maternity and Parental leave language.
- Creation of a joint committee to make collective agreement language more gender inclusive.
Ratification votes for CFIA members will be held from August 23 to September 8 at 12 p.m. ET.
In order for PSAC members to receive their new rates of pay, retroactive pay, and lump sum payment, the new agreements must first be ratified, and then signed. To ensure members receive their new rates of pay as quickly as possible, PSAC will be conducting an expedited, virtual ratification process using an online voting platform.