Strike votes for over 9,000 workers at Canada Border Services Agency begin April 10

Members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and the Customs and Immigration Union (CIU) employed at the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will be conducting a crucial strike vote commencing on April 10, 2024.

After nearly two years of negotiations, PSAC declared an impasse in bargaining in September 2023. This decision arose due to CBSA’s reluctance to address significant concerns raised by PSAC members, including equitable wages in comparison to other law enforcement agencies, enhanced job security, accessibility to telework, and safeguards against contracting out.

Chris Aylward, the national president of PSAC, stated, “Workers at CBSA have waited long enough. Our members have been without a collective agreement since 2022. While wages have stagnated and the cost of living has surged, CBSA has shown unwillingness to negotiate an agreement that upholds workers’ rights, instead persisting in demanding concessions.”

As the strike votes proceed, PSAC and CBSA are concurrently engaging in Public Interest Commission (PIC) hearings scheduled for April 10 and 22, in collaboration with the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board.

Following these PIC hearings, the commission will issue non-binding recommendations aimed at facilitating an agreement. In the event that members vote in favor of a strike mandate, PSAC will legally be in a position to strike seven days subsequent to the board’s report release.

Furthermore, it is pertinent to highlight that CBSA workers are still awaiting the fulfillment of the government’s commitment to provide CBSA law enforcement personnel with the same retirement benefits—commonly referred to as “25 and out”—as other law enforcement and public safety workers.