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Details of tentative agreement for CBSA workers revealed

Vehicles exit the customs booths at the Windsor Detroit Tunnel in Windsor, Ont., on Saturday, December 18, 2021. (Source: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Thornhill) Vehicles exit the customs booths at the Windsor Detroit Tunnel in Windsor, Ont., on Saturday, December 18, 2021. (Source: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Thornhill)
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Details of a tentative agreement for over 9,000 Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) workers have been released.

In a joint statement issued Thursday, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and the Customs and Immigration Union (CIU) announced that the ratification kit had been sent to members, highlighting the bargaining team’s successes.

“This tentative agreement is a testament to their incredible hard work and dedication,” said PSAC National President Sharon DeSousa. “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.”

News of the tentative agreement, reached on Tuesday, alleviated concerns over potential job action at the border as early as Friday.

After more than two years without a contract, the unions are recommending that members ratify the agreement.

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

The full details of the tentative agreement have been published online by the unions.

Key highlights

  • A 15.7 per cent total compound wage increase,
  • Enhanced protections related to technological changes,
  • Improved provisions for shift scheduling and leave.

The unions noted that the wage increase is higher than what any other Canadian law enforcement agency has received in recent years.

Labour expert Adam King told CTV News that the agreement appears to be a good deal overall.

“I think at this point, it’s up to the members to decide whether it’s an acceptable offer,” King said. “We've seen a trend over the past couple of years of members rejecting agreements that unions recommend, so we’ll have to wait and see.”

King, an assistant professor in the labour studies department at the University of Manitoba, added that these bargaining teams benefited from precedents set by public sector negotiations last year.

“Large federal public service units already negotiated in 2023, so this unit was following that precedent more closely. These things matter because negotiations are always ongoing. Maintaining a strong precedent is important,” he said.

An online vote on the tentative deal will take place in the coming weeks. 

If ratified, the contract would be retroactive to June 2022 and in place until June 2026. 

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