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Supplied photo Canada Border Services Agency

Strike vote scheduled for Canada border officers

By Randy Thoms Apr 5, 2024 | 1:15 PM

Officers with Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will vote next week to consider strike action to back demands for a new contract.

The 9,000 members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and the

Customs and Immigration Union (CIU) will begin casting ballots next Wednesday.

Their last contract expired two years ago.

Contract talks between the union and CBSA reached an impasse last September.

PSAC says wages, job security, access to telework and contract out are the main issues.

The officers are seeking wages in line with other law enforcement agencies.

“Workers at CBSA have waited long enough,” states Chris Aylward, PSAC national president, in a release. “Our members have been without a collective agreement since 2022. While wages have stalled and the cost of living has risen, CBSA has refused to negotiate an agreement that protects workers and continues to demand concessions at the bargaining table.”

The two sides are scheduled to outline their positions to a Public Interest Commission (PIC), a federal non-binding labour committee.

The first of two scheduled hearings takes place the same day as the strike vote.

The federal government is disappointed with the union’s decision to call the vote.

A statement from the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat says it is committed to reaching an agreement.

“There is ample room to reach a fair and reasonable agreement with PSAC for members of the FB group (employees from the Canada Border Services Agency),” the release states.

“The PIC is a crucial step in the bargaining process that can effectively bring parties together to reach negotiated agreements. Last year, PIC recommendations formed the basis for new agreements for approximately 120,000 public servants. In the interest of reaching an agreement for their members at the earliest opportunity, we call on PSAC to commit to the collective bargaining process, including the PIC process.”