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Canada Border Services Agency. Image: CBSA Facebook

CBSA workers reach tentative agreement

By Brad Perry Jun 11, 2024 | 12:20 PM

Job action has been avoided for more than 9,000 workers at Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and the Customs and Immigration Union (CIU) say they have reached a tentative agreement with the federal government.

“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,” Sharon DeSousa, national president of PSAC, said in a news release.

A statement from the Treasury Board said the agreement is “fair for employees and reasonable for Canadians” and includes wage enhancements and other benefits.

CBSA workers were prepared to walk off the job last Friday, but delayed job action as mediation continued.

Earlier this week, they said they would begin job action this coming Friday if an agreement was not in place.

CBSA workers had voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action, but what that action would have looked like is unknown as 90 per cent of front-line officers are considered essential.

However, experts have said that unionized workers could have used work-to-rule, which had the potential to cause significant delays.

Job action by CBSA personnel in 2021 caused major delays at airports and borders across the country.

One of the main issues this time around was wages that are aligned with other Canadian law enforcement agencies.

The union was also pushing for flexible telework and remote work options, equitable retirement benefits, and stronger protections around discipline, technological change and hours of work.

Full details of the tentative agreement are expected to be announced on Thursday.