PSAC’s bargaining team representing members at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) held a fifth bargaining session for a new collective agreement between July 16 and 18.
CFIA management offered no new proposals but continued insisting on a slew of previously-tabled concessions that our union team deemed unacceptable and rejected last month. These include regressive changes to hours of work, the definition of the work week and notice time for shift changes, among others.
Moreover, the CFIA failed to provide a response to our wage package even though it had more than a month to assess our proposal and develop a counter offer. In June, PSAC proposed annual monetary increases as well as salary grid adjustments to close the gap in wages between CFIA workers and equivalent positions in the federal public service. The union also demanded a restoration of the recruitment and retention incentive package for compensation advisors. The employer now says it will provide a counter proposal on wages at the next bargaining session.
Furthermore, the agency continues to reject our proposal that would ensure that inspectors at slaughter facilities are paid for daily preparation and clean-up. Currently, workers receive no compensation for this—which can amount to as much as 30 minutes every day—even though these activities are essential to undertaking inspection work.
Union streamlines proposals for August talks
As a show of good faith and in the interest of reaching an agreement as soon as possible, PSAC’s bargaining team withdrew some proposals and streamlined and prioritized the remaining ones. While CFIA representatives reciprocated this initiative, it nevertheless left the abovementioned concessionary proposals on the table.
PSAC’s bargaining team looks forward to the next session of talks, scheduled for August 7 to 8. However, the team made it clear to CFIA representatives that unless the agency returns to the table with fair and reasonable counter proposals without concessions, the union will be forced to declare bargaining impasse and proceed to a Public Interest Commission.
Download our bargaining proposals poster!
The bargaining team has prepared a poster that presents the union’s vision for improving the agency and ensuring safe food for Canadians. Download it now and pin it up on your office wall as a show of support for contract improvements, not concessions!
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PSAC at CFIA : Bargaining for our future!
Atlantic: Jan Pennington
Québec: Audrey St-Germain
National Capital Region: Marlene O’Neil
Ontario: Robert MacDonald
Manitoba: Andrew Neufeld
Saskatchewan: Karen Zoller
Alberta: Dorothy McRae
British Columbia: Terri Lee
Negotiator: Hassan Husseini
Research Officer: Silja Freitag