MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Canadian government announced it had reached a tentative agreement with the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and the Customs and Immigration Union (CIU), putting an end to a protracted standoff.
The four-year deal, which applies to close to 9,500 border services officers at the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), provides general economic increases of 2.8% and 2.2% in the first two years of the agreement, given the relatively strong economic environment in 2018 and 2019.
The government and the trade union’s bargaining team were trying to hammer out a last-minute deal as Canadian border agents and staff commenced job action early on Friday, protesting against poor working conditions.
AP Photo / Craig RuttleTwo people, who later indicated to officials they are from Sudan, hesitate as they listen to a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer tell them they will be taken into custody just before they crossed into Canada from Perry Mills, N.Y., near Hemmingford, Quebec, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017
PSAC and the CIU served the Canadian government a strike notice on Tuesday after talks with the CBSA and the Treasury Board broke down, citing the lack of redress for “toxic” working conditions and the absence of contracts for unionized workers for over three years. They added that throughout the strike, border services staff would be operating on a work-to-rule basis — only carrying out duties they were trained and mandated to do — at all Canadian airports, land borders, commercial shipping ports, postal facilities and headquarters locations.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed on Thursday hope that the strike could be averted through negotiations at the bargaining table, citing the government’s ability to renegotiate contracts with several groups of public sector workers in recent years.