Contract ratified for CBSA members

A tentative collective agreement has been ratified by workers at the Canada Border Services Agency.

The 6,500 members of the Customs and Immigration Union accepted the deal following several weeks of voting.

The contract, which includes a 17% wage hike and protection for officers under investigation, still needs to be signed off by the Treasury Board.

Under the old contract, officers who were under investigation had their salary suspended--now officers will be suspended with pay.

Once the signing has taken place, retroactive payments to union members, which are expected to be $10,000 on average,  must be made within 150-days.

The Customs and Immigration Union Local 18 represents 400 borders at the Ambassador Bridge and Windsor-Detroit Tunnel and President Ken Turner says workers are ecstatic the deal was ratified.

"I would say it is a victory yes," he says.  "I would say we are very happy about it with the major sticking points settled in our favour."


Border officers, members of Customs and Immigration Union, have been without a contract since June 2014. (Photo by AM800's Teresinha Medeiros)

He says the protection of officers under investigation was a key issue.

"Under the old agreement, officers could be suspended indefinitely without pay without being found guilty of anything and we felt, as a union, that those weren't even the basic protections extended to everyday Canadians."

The border officers have been working without a contract for four-years and this contract expires June 18th, after that, negotiations will begin for another contract.

--With files from AM800's Teresinha Medeiros