June 20, 2012
A Message from the FB Bargaining Team
Talks break off, process for conciliation starts
Recently our bargaining team and Treasury Board/CBSA agreed to return to the bargaining table for three days – Monday June 18-Wednesday June 20. Talks began Monday morning.
At the outset, our team reiterated the same message that we have conveyed since the beginning of negotiations: we are ready to negotiate, but what we seek in this round of negotiations is parity with what has already been agreed to for other enforcement workers in the federal public service.
This includes : a retirement scheme that allows for workers to retire after 25 years without penalty, and paid (pensionable) meal periods – both of which are standard for officers at both Corrections Canada and the RCMP (agencies that fall under the same ministry as CBSA). We also seek respect for all employees' seniority, reasonable work schedules, rights for seasonal and part-time workers, access to the Treasury Board Telework Policy - proposals that would come at virtually no cost. Enhanced job security and the renewal of our letter of agreement concerning protections in the context of the arming initiative. Wages that ensure parity with other enforcement workers and that keep up with inflation.
In our sessions on Monday and Tuesday, the employer continued to reject all of these proposals. On the contrary, we were again told that not only are we to accept inferior working conditions compared to other federal enforcement workers, but that we must give up our severance for the purposes of voluntary departures, agree to language in the context of the arming initiative that is worse that what management agreed to in the previous round, and accept wages that fall well below current projected inflationary trends – not to mention current trends in the broader enforcement community. What's more, management continues to take the position that its concessions concerning shift notice and other items remain on the table.
All of this, when the Harper government's budget will see us paying more out of pocket for our current pension plan, and new officers having to work much longer to access their pension benefit.
To be asked to give up all of these concessions, while at the same time being hit with the proposed elimination of over 1000 jobs at CBSA, and in the absence of any significant trade offs that would benefit our members, is unacceptable to our bargaining team. We told management No. As a result the parties agreed to break off talks at the end of the day on Tuesday and continue the process towards conciliation.
Recently PSAC/CIU members conducted a rally outside a meeting of CBSA management at a plush hotel in Montreal. Last month nearly 2000 PSAC members protested outside the Prime Minister's Office to denounce the current government's budget cuts and the lack of respect being shown PSAC members in negotiations. We must continue to demonstrate our dissatisfaction with our employer and the current government.
We work hard and we ensure the safety and security of our borders and our communities. We deserve much, much better than this.
We will be sure to update as things progress. The collective bargaining process under the Public Service Labour Relations Act is lengthy, complicated and restrictive. If you have any questions, contact a member of our bargaining team, your Shop Steward, a member of your branch executive, or go to www.psac.com
Date Modified : 2012/06/20