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Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Potential Strike in June 2024

Updated: 6 days ago

The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) informed the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) that it has received a positive strike vote from the membership of the Border Services (FB) group.

"The government is fully committed to reaching a fair and reasonable agreement for border services employees. We have already signed renewed agreements with more than 80% of the public service, and if the union is ready to negotiate in good faith, we can do the same for Border Services group employees".


Updates as of June 18, 2024

CBSA Agents to Vote on New Labour Agreement by July 4


Canadian border agents will have between June 20 and July 4 to vote on a new four-year labour agreement with the CBSA, the Public Service Alliance of Canada and Customs and Immigration Union announced Friday.

 

Results are expected to be released shortly after voting closes at noon EDT on July 4, according to the union. The negotiating committee for the union recommended members ratify the deal.


Updates as of June 11, 2024

Tentative agreement reached


The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and the Customs and Immigration Union (CIU) have reached a tentative agreement for more than 9,000 workers at CBSA, avoiding potential job action at Canada’s borders. 

“Our bargaining team has been working around the clock to secure the best contract for our members, and this tentative agreement is a testament to their incredible hard work and dedication,” said Sharon DeSousa, PSAC National President.” This is a well-deserved victory for our members at CBSA who safeguard our nation’s borders and ensure the safety and security of all Canadians.” 

Full details of the tentative agreement will be announced once the ratification kit is available for members Thursday, June 13. 

“I’m proud of the solidarity our members have shown over that past two years of negotiations,” said Mark Weber, CIU National President. “Our bargaining team couldn’t have won this agreement without the strength and support shown by thousands of members across the country who took action to support our bargaining team.


Updates as of June 10, 2024

Public Service Alliance of Canada says mediation continues for its 9000 CBSA workers; no strike till at least Wednesday


The union that represents 9,000 Canada Border Services Agency workers says they won't strike until at least Wednesday, as mediation continues.

 

The Public Service Alliance of Canada initially said border workers were set to strike as early as 4 p.m. Friday if they hadn't reached a deal, but have decided to extend negotiations, said a Canadian Press release on Friday June 7. PSAC also released an update via social media on its X channel.

 

The union says similar strike action three years ago nearly brought commercial border traffic to a standstill and caused major delays across the country.

 

The government says 90 per cent of front-line border officers are designated as essential, which means they can’t stop working during a strike.

 

But union members could work-to-rule, a tactic where employees do their jobs exactly as outlined in their contracts. Experts say that could still cause serious slowdowns, which could turn into massive disruptions given the volume of traffic that normally moves across the border. Full details of the tentative agreement will be announced once the ratification kit is available for members on Thursday, June 13.

 

Read more in a press release from PSAC.

 

Updates as of May 31, 2024

More than 9,000 workers at the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA ) could strike as early as Thursday


More than 9,000 workers at the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA ) could strike as early as Thursday, after the recent release of a federal Public Interest Commission report, which set guidelines for a new collective agreement and gave the workers the legal right to strike.

 

CBSA personnel are represented by Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and the Customs and Immigration Union (CIU).

 

On June 2, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) issued additional information to industry stakeholders regarding a possible strike, and what may transpire at the border should a strike occur in the days or weeks to come:

 

“On September 28, 2023, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) declared an impasse in its negotiations with the Employer on behalf of the FB group. Public Interest Commission (PIC) hearings were held in April 2024 and a non-binding PIC report is expected to be released in late May/early June. Depending on the timing of the report, PSAC would be in a legal strike position as soon as early June.

 

The border will remain open and safe as 90% of frontline Border Services Officers are essential workers, which means that they will continue to offer essential services in the event of a strike. Our officers will fulfill their duties with the highest level of integrity and professionalism. However, travelers and businesses could experience an increase in border wait times, picketing outside CBSA premises, and wearing of union-related accessories. The CBSA has been actively working to plan for these situations and has developed mitigation strategies to ensure operations will continue.

 

The CBSA will respond quickly to any job action or work disruption in order to maintain the safety and security of our border, ensure compliance with our laws, and keep the border open to facilitate the flow of legitimate goods and travel.”


Updates as of May 31, 2024

Public Interest Commission Issues Recommendations Related to CBSA Labour Negotiations


The report of the public interest commission relating to the renewal of a collective agreement between the Public Service Alliance for the Border Services bargaining unit and Treasury Board was issued on May 29.

 

According to the union's update, the report recommended that the parties meet and resume collective bargaining immediately. The FB bargaining team and the CBSA have agreed to return to the bargaining table to resume talks at mediated sessions starting on Monday, June 3.


Updates as of May 30, 2024

CBSA Promises Minimal Impacts from Possible Strike of Border Services Officers


A message from Danielle Pouliot, A/Director, Commercial Analysis, Research and Engagement, Commercial & Trade Branch (responsible for the BCCC Secretariat) at the CBSA, said the following.

 

On September 28, 2023, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) declared an impasse in its negotiations with the Employer on behalf of the FB group (CBSA officers). Public Interest Commission (PIC) hearings were held in April 2024 and a non-binding PIC report is expected to be released in late May/early June. Depending on the timing of the report, PSAC would be in a legal strike position in early June.

 

The border will remain open and safe, as 90% of frontline Border Services Officers are essential workers, which means that they will continue to offer essential services in the event of a strike. Our officers will fulfill their duties with the highest level of integrity and professionalism. However, travelers and businesses could experience an increase in border wait times, picketing outside CBSA premises, and wearing of union-related accessories. The CBSA has been actively working to plan for these situations and has developed mitigation strategies to ensure operations will continue.

 

The CBSA will respond quickly to any job action or work disruption in order to maintain the safety and security of our border, ensure compliance with our laws, and keep the border open to facilitate the flow of legitimate goods and travel.


Updates as of May 29, 2024

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Potential Strike in June 2024


Members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) who work for Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), have voted overwhelmingly to strike as early as June.


Ninety-six per cent of members voted in favor of job action during votes held from April 10 to May 23, the union announced.


The union states workers will be in a legal strike position in June, which is also when mediation sessions are scheduled to begin.


Per Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, “The Government of Canada values the important work of border services employees, and we will do everything possible to reach a responsible and competitive agreement. However, in the event of strike action, Canadians should know that 90% of front-line border services employees are designated as essential, meaning they must continue providing services during a strike.”


Updates as of May 24, 2024

The Government of Canada responds to the Public Service Alliance of Canada strike vote for the Border Services group


Statement

May 24, 2024 – Ottawa, Ontario – Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Today, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) informed the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) that it has received a positive strike vote from the membership of the Border Services (FB) group.

The government is fully committed to reaching a fair and reasonable agreement for border services employees. We have already signed renewed agreements with more than 80% of the public service, and if the union is ready to negotiate in good faith, we can do the same for Border Services group employees.

We recognize that labour action is a legitimate part of collective bargaining. Employees have the right to strike, but at this time it is unnecessary. We are ready and willing to return to the bargaining table at any time.

There are important upcoming opportunities where both parties can make real progress toward an agreement. By the end of May, we will receive recommendations from an independent party—the Public Interest Commission—which will help bring the 2 sides together. Then, on June 3, guided by those recommendations, both parties will begin mediation.

We believe these opportunities can provide a clear path to an agreement without the undue hardship for employees and the public caused by a strike.   

The Government of Canada values the important work of border services employees, and we will do everything possible to reach a responsible and competitive agreement. However, in the event of strike action, Canadians should know that 90% of front-line border services employees are designated as essential, meaning they must continue providing services during a strike.

The best agreements are reached at the bargaining table. Rather than planning for disruption, PSAC should focus on negotiation so we can reach an agreement as quickly as possible that is fair to employees and taxpayers.

Quick Facts

  • The Border Services Group is comprised of approximately 11,000 positions at the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) that are primarily involved in the planning, development, delivery, or management of the inspection and control of people and goods entering Canada.

  • There are over 9,500 represented Border Services group employees at the CBSA and 90% of them occupy a position that is deemed essential.



By: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, CIFFA, C.S.C.B


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