Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) shoulder patch. (Photo courtesy of CBSA)Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) shoulder patch. (Photo courtesy of CBSA)

UPDATE: Tentative agreement reached for CBSA employees

The union representing Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) employees has announced a tentative agreement in contract negotiations.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and the Customs and Immigration Union (CIU) announced the agreement on Tuesday morning, averting potential job action that would have likely had an effect at border crossings.

"Our bargaining team has been working around the clock to secure the best contract for our members, and 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."

Details of the agreement will not be available until ratification kits have been distributed, which could happen by Thursday.

The PSAC had set a deadline for 12:01 a.m. Friday if there was no deal reached with the Treasury Board of Canada.

"This tentative agreement demonstrates that the best agreements are always reached at the bargaining table," said Treasury Board President Anita Anand. "Border Services employees are critical to the safety and security of our borders and this tentative agreement recognizes the importance of that work while remaining reasonable for taxpayers. We are continuing with negotiations for the remaining active bargaining tables and are committed to reaching similar positive outcomes."

The union was set to begin job action last week, but it was put on hold while mediation continued.

Over 9,000 CBSA employees, including those working at the Ambassador Bridge, Windsor-Detroit Tunnel, and the Blue Water Bridge, have been affected. They had been working without a contract for two years.

Wages, benefits, working conditions, and job security have been key sticking points.

The Treasury Board pointed out that under the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act, 90 per cent of border service officers are considered essential and must not engage in any tactic to intentionally slow traffic at the border.

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