Agriculture Union members employed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency know all too well the lengthy and frustrating process it takes to reach a collective agreement. Now, to add insult to injury, CFIA has missed its deadline for implementing our new contract!

Wednesday, December 12 marked 150 days since the parties signed off on the CFIA agreement. It was agreed that the new contract be fully implemented by this time. Yet, Agriculture Union members are still waiting!

Well, enough is enough. On December 13, our bargaining agent, the Public Service Alliance of Canada, moved to file an unfair labour practice complaint against the CFIA for failing to meet its obligations.

The PSAC will be seeking remedies for our CFIA members before the the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board. The FPSLREB is an independent tribunal responsible for administering the collective bargaining and grievance adjudication systems in the federal public service.

PSAC will ask the Board to order the employer to pay damages to our CFIA members, and to take all necessary steps to immediately comply with the Public Service Labour Relations and Employment Act and implement the terms of the new collective agreement.

This is a serious move by the PSAC and the Agriculture Union. Previous actions taken before the FPSLREB, on such matters as the problem-plagued Phoenix pay system, have resulted in the payment of financial compensation to affected workers.

A hearing date will be set by the FPSLREB once the CFIA has responded to our complaint. We will continue to keep our members in the loop as the case unfolds.