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Military to CBSA

X-mo-1979

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After having a good look at the CBSA website it answered many of the questions I had in regards to the agency. After reading the threads about CBSA here I still didn't find the answers to a few.So I will post them here; knowing the large amount of CBSA per's who frequent this website.

I hope this will answer questions for others as well.

I have found that there are many postings across Canada.I perfer living in Newfoundland,which is a large reason for the thoughts of career change to this from the CF.There are multiple places there in which CBSA are employed,but is CBSA like the military where you get posted where they require you?

I also noticed on the site it has job postings listed.After graduation from the CBSA Learning Center in Rigaud, you are sent on a work term.Do you choose this work term? As well after your work term are you offered a full time position?Or do you then have to compete for jobs across the country,doing part time work to build up seniority?

I'm trying to better define what information is lacking on the website (of of which I am lacking to find!)

Any help would be appreciated.

As well any stories from those who left the military for this job.I am interested in Marine.



 

J.J

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X-Mo,
Wherever you apply, is where you work. I applied in Windsor, Ont and I was hired in Windsor and I work in Windsor. The only thing you do not pick is in what "environment" you work in. They decide if they want you in traffic, commercial, air or marine. You can voice your opinion and they do take it into consideration, but like the CF, the greater good of the agency is paramount.
If, after working in your "home region", you can apply for a permanent or for a secondment to another region, so you can get a taste of something different. A popular place is Ottawa as you would more than likely be on travel status for your time there and you can make some $$$ and get a “different perspective” on things.  ::)
Again when you get your job offer, before Rigaud, you will know where, when and what you will be working. You just have to pass the course. Unfortunately the program in Rigaud is not in a good place right now, it has a higher than necessary failure rate and occasionally some good ones are failing and some garbage are passing.
I hope this helps.
 

IrishCanuck

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I'd offer a caveat to WR's advice,

The hiring situation now, is a national hiring board, and if you want an indeterminate (ie full time)  BSO position, you will go where they ask you to go. In the past , where you applied is where you ended up, but I see this national process being the way of the future.

Eg. Well X-Mo, we would like to hire you, but you would have to go to Yukon/Northern BC. Deal?  -> Then you have to decide, you get to accept or not, but if not, might not be a position for you. Again, transfers have historically been fairly easy to come by, and there are numerous workarounds (as WR mentioned, secondments to Ottawa and the like) ; but until the budget purse-strings are loosened up again, I would expect longer waits for transfers, as regions hold on to their staff.

Not exactly the same as RCMP, where it could be 'you're hired, you are going here', because you agree to be posted anywhere.

Rigaud isn't too bad, there are a couple flaws but the program is generally working. As mentioned with the eye roll refering to Ottawa, Rigaud's problem is it has too many people who were either afraid/not cut out for front line BSO positions that have now carved out a career for themselves in roles they shouldn't have. Example, too much emphasis on facilitation, sheer terror at the thought of BSO being armed, much less taking the sidearms off POE land.



 

X-mo-1979

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Ok great thank you very much for the replies.I'll keep you posted on the progress.
 

X-mo-1979

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A few more questions not really covered were:

-Pay.Although it shows the annual salary is there a by hour rate?

-How does working at CBSA affect your family life.I.E working all nights etc?Or do you do a shift schedule with rotating duty times.

-With that how does vacation time work?Can you bank overtime hours as "days off"instead of pay?Do you get annual days?And does this increase with time at the agency?
 

Crown-Loyal

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hey x-mo,

I dont know if the website has it updated but our new collective agreement has a first year officer start at 57771 (roughly works out to $29.20 an hour) and then it goes up topping out at 66564. as of june 21/2010 starting wage for officer is 59518. here is a link to our collective agreement, pay is on page 99:

http://psac.com/documents/bargaining/fb_20072011-e.pdf

You will be working a shift schedule, i can't speak to other district operations but in my district there are people that work 4 on 4 off's, people that work 4 on 3 off's and some people just mon-fri.  4 on 4 offs are usually 2 days and 2 nights or however your port decides to do it, it is hard to speak to this question.

For the first 8 years of service you bank 9.375 hours of allowed leave a month. so about 15 days off a year.

You can bank your vacation but only to a certain point, its 200 and something hours. anything banked above that has to be paid out in cash.

All of this is available in the collective agreement, give that a look over, we can try to clarify stuff if you have any questions.

The collective agreement is public on our unions site, so no harm no foul for me posting it here.

cheers,
C-L



 

IrishCanuck

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C-L did a great job giving you the info, I'd agree  noone can really give you a definitive answer on work hours. It will be variable shift, but who knows what format.

Example, at my port alone, there are people on 5 on 2 off, 5 on 3 off (majority), and a 12hr traditional shift rotation.
 

mick209

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Hey,
I'm currently in the military and will have 10 years completed in September and I'm thinking about getting out and join the CBSA once I have 10 years completed. I was wondering if there was anyone in here that has done this already or is in the process now that could give me some advice, experiences, or just answer some questions for me. I want to know stuff like how transferring your pension and stuff works, and about the job.
Cheer,
Mick
 

George Wallace

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I have friends in various jobs and levels at the CBSA, but other than that I am not going to be much help to you.  The only point I can cover is that transferring your pension over to the CBSA would be the same as for any other Federal Public Service Job.  Make sure that you have all your important dates in order, documented and then visit the HR folks when you have finished their training are accepted to the job. 

You will have to apply to them (CBSA) and go through their screening process.  Once accepted, you will go to Rigaud, PQ (near ON border, West of Montreal) for your training.  Being Bilingual is an asset, if not compulsory. 
 

Container

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I've got some insight into this topic. I've spent a lot of time around CBSA training them and was am military pers who transferred to another fed program.

Feel free to PM me
 

Retired AF Guy

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Here is a link to the CBSA Job Opportunities page:

http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/job-emploi/bso-asf/menu-eng.html

Here is what they list as basic requirements:

Basic Requirements

Before applying to the selection process, there are certain basic requirements that individuals must meet.

At any time during the selection process, applicants will be required to submit proof (the original document and one (1) copy) that they meet these requirements. Applicants:

    Must have successfully completed a secondary school education.
    Must possess and maintain a valid driver's license.
    Must have successful completed the Canadian Firearms Safety Course (CFSC) and the Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course (CRFSC) and pass the tests, OR challenge and pass both the CFSC and the CRFSC tests without taking either course. Please visit the Canadian Firearms Program website for further information.
 

mick209

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Hey, thanks for the info so far. I've been through all the requirements and stuff so far, which already meet. I just haven't found much on transferring over from military to CBSA. I have found some stuff about transferring my pension but I don't really know how it works and if they get the same pension as us, ie 2% a year and if I can retire with like 30 years or do I have to wait till I'm 65. I was also was just wondering what the transition from one to the other was like and if there was any benefit for having military experience. Also wondering things like, how long in advance I should be starting the application process and at what point of the process I should put my release in, or if I can somehow get leave without pay to do the choose etc.
Cheers,
Mick
 

dapaterson

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Pensions are largely similar, but the base retirement ages are higher in the public service, and the "retire at 42 with a 25 year pension, unreduced" isn't possible.  Transferring over your pension can be slow, as it requires folks on both sides (public service and CAF plans) to co-ordinate; a delay of several months is not uncommon.

Your military service will also count for seniority for annual leave.  Public service generally starts at 3 weeks, going to 4 weeks at 8 years of service, and 5 at 18 years (certain classifications go up faster than others).
 

Robert0288

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If your looking at a Border Service Officer, BSO, you're still looking at an external hiring process.  I have seen an extremely small amount of people transfer in sideways from the civy side at DND and some others from RCMP as they where looking for arming instructors, but it appears that well has dried up.  If you have questions about the hiring process, stages or training shoot me a PM.
 

Robert0288

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The move is coordinated with Brookfield, and depending on your situation they may advance you $5,000 to help cover the costs of your move and HHT.

As for the 18 weeks.  Some people definitely had some challenges.  The checks are $125/week, and usually given at the end of each month... supposedly.  After you graduate, there is a 3 week gap between the end of training and your start date at your port of entry.  Your first day of paid work is at that time, and it may take a little while for the pay to come in depending on your regions HR.
 

DovoNewb

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mick209 said:
Hey,
I'm currently in the military and will have 10 years completed in September and I'm thinking about getting out and join the CBSA once I have 10 years completed. I was wondering if there was anyone in here that has done this already or is in the process now that could give me some advice, experiences, or just answer some questions for me. I want to know stuff like how transferring your pension and stuff works, and about the job.
Cheer,
Mick

I applied last year, passed the testing, the physical and had an interview booked Jan 2015 but I pulled out of it. I found out, that despite the fact I already work for the federal government, I would only be paid $125/week during training at Rigaud, and not sure if I would be getting anything during the DL portion of their course.... thus loosing $2900 per month out of my monthly budget.

I spoke with a recruiter, I spoke with someone I met on the blueline forums who was on a course with ex military dudes who left to go CBSA, and they only got paid $125.00 per week, and CBSA on their FAQ portion of their recruiting website says that they do not offer secondment of any kind.

Long story short, my family is worth more than the $2900/month drop in pay that would hit me if I were to have followed through. Mortgage, 2 cars, usual household expenses, killing off debt, and a newborn daughter...... I literally could not at this moment afford to accept a job with them.

It's ridiculous because this policy I am sure turns away alot of otherwise experienced people. A friend of mine who is a CBSA officer in Toronto finds that a large majority of people who show up now adays are fresh out of college living in Dads basement and for the most part lack any sort of life experience and have a sense of entitlement. He seems to think their pay policy is as it is because previously, CBSA had a hard time retaining guys who were using it as a stepping stone to get to a police agency where the pay is far more lucrative. Pay is nice, but I want to serve my country, but at what expense? My family is worth more to me than job satisfaction....

.....back to the drawing board.
 

Goldenpaws

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Hey guys, I am currently applying to be a BSO at CBSA. During the training portion at Rigaud, which lasts 4.5 months, I will not be paid. I was wondering if the CAF would entertain a certain type of leave for me to be able to attend this training. I have a family to support and I want to serve my country in a different way. Anyone as an idea or had experience with this process?
 

brihard

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Goldenpaws said:
Hey guys, I am currently applying to be a BSO at CBSA. During the training portion at Rigaud, which lasts 4.5 months, I will not be paid. I was wondering if the CAF would entertain a certain type of leave for me to be able to attend this training. I have a family to support and I want to serve my country in a different way. Anyone as an idea or had experience with this process?

No way you'll get a paid leave from the CAF to attend training for CBSA. You'll get a tremendous $125 a week training allowance while you're there.

I would advise approaching your bank to see if any loan could be made to you- following Rigaud you'll have a decent job anyway, so they may entertain that. Alternatively if you own a home you may be able to access your home's equity through a home equity line of credit.

Long and short of it, it sucks to be going to a federal law enforcement institution such as CBSA or RCMP academies, and not be a paid employee. There's not really much out there to help you.

Do you have at least six years of full time CAF service? There may be another possibility, but I won't waste anyone's time picking it apart if you don't have at least six years in to qualify.
 

Goldenpaws

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Brihard said:
No way you'll get a paid leave from the CAF to attend training for CBSA. You'll get a tremendous $125 a week training allowance while you're there.

I would advise approaching your bank to see if any loan could be made to you- following Rigaud you'll have a decent job anyway, so they may entertain that. Alternatively if you own a home you may be able to access your home's equity through a home equity line of credit.

Long and short of it, it sucks to be going to a federal law enforcement institution such as CBSA or RCMP academies, and not be a paid employee. There's not really much out there to help you.

Do you have at least six years of full time CAF service? There may be another possibility, but I won't waste anyone's time picking it apart if you don't have at least six years in to qualify.

Yes I have 8 years so far and releasing on my 9th. What are the other possibilities?
 

brihard

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Goldenpaws said:
Yes I have 8 years so far and releasing on my 9th. What are the other possibilities?

OK, so this will be a bit of a long shot and I don't know if anyone has tried it yet, but the VAC Education and Training Benefit *may* allow you to access some portion of funding to offset living expenses. I'll try to break it down, and what issues will crop up:

Education and Training Benefit Policy said:
18. The intent of the Education and Training Benefit is to help Veterans successfully transition from military to civilian life, achieve their education and post-military employment goals, and better position them to be more competitive in the civilian workforce. It also permits Veterans to pursue activities that give them purpose and result in them feeling satisfied with their main job or activity.

You have six years completed full time service, so you're eligible for ETB. That means either up to $40k for a full time post secondary program, or up to $5000 for self improvement. Where CBSA training would fit in is tough to say, and would probably be a head scratcher decision for VAC to make if they would grant it at all. But it would be within the *intent* of the benefit.

Now, you would have to apply for the benefit and complete an education and training plan, showing acceptance to an 'educational institution' for a program of study. This is where Rigaud doesn't fit in particularly well... But it's not a definite 'no'.

The VAC internal policy for ETB states that the benefit is paid for a "period of study" in a "designated educational institution". "Designated educational institution" is defined by Employment and Social Development Canada. Rigaud is not on there. But there are two things in your favour:

First, the VAC policy for ETB states that:
35. The education institution must be listed on Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) Master List of designated educational institutions. The list can be accessed at:
https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/post-secondary/designated-schools.html

Note: the Master List also includes international educational institutions.

36. The Master List of designated educational institutions is updated regularly. If there is an education institution that a Veteran has requested but is not listed, consideration may be given to the request.

So they are willing to consider institutions not on the list. While Rigaud is not on the list, the RCMP training academy in Regina is. For the purposes of what you're looking at, I cannot think of a closer analogous institution to Rigaud than the RCMP academy. Both are federal training centres for a job in federal law enforcement, both pay a training allowance, and in both cases you are not yet a hired paid employee.

So because RCMP Depot is on the list, that would strengthen an argument to consider Rigaud. If VAC is willing to say 'Yup, Rigaud counts for an education/training institution', then you have an argument to be made that subsidizing your cost of living expenses for your time at Rigaud satisfies the intent of the Education and Training Benefit to assist CAF members with a successful transition to civilian life. It's worth a shot at least- make them look at it, say no, then appeal it and try to get it looked at higher up the chain by someone with the power to say 'it's odd, but it fits- so yes'.

References:
ETB policy at VAC: http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/about-us/policy/document/2685
Veterans Well Being Regulations: http://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2006-50/
 
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