PSAC and CIU Members at CBSA Vote for Strike Action Amidst Stalled Negotiations

09 Apr PSAC and CIU Members at CBSA Vote for Strike Action Amidst Stalled Negotiations

Members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and the Customs and Immigration Union (CIU) employed at the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) are gearing up for a significant move. Starting April 10, 2024, they will be conducting a nationwide strike vote in response to prolonged deadlock in negotiations.

The impasse in bargaining, which began almost two years ago, reached a critical juncture when PSAC declared impasse in September 2023. This decision came after CBSA showed reluctance to address fundamental issues raised by the workers, including equitable wages compared to other law enforcement agencies, improved job security, accessibility to telework, and safeguards against outsourcing.

Amidst the strike vote process, PSAC and CBSA are concurrently engaged in Public Interest Commission (PIC) hearings scheduled for April 10 and 22. These hearings, facilitated by the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board, aim to provide recommendations to bridge the gap between the parties. However, the recommendations are non-binding.

Furthermore, the issue of retirement benefits remains unresolved for CBSA law enforcement personnel. Mark Weber, the national president of CIU, highlighted the government’s promise to extend retirement benefits, commonly known as “25 and out,” to CBSA workers, aligning them with their counterparts in other law enforcement agencies. However, this commitment is yet to be fulfilled.

As negotiations continue, the outcome of the strike vote and subsequent actions will undoubtedly have far-reaching implications, not just for the members directly involved but also for the broader landscape of labor relations in Canada.