Here is a copy of a news release late last week on the above subject matter by the Ottawa Citizen which is a postmedia outlet based in Ottawa.
The four-member task force studying the future of Canada Post will deliver its report next week outlining options that could overhaul the structure and operations of the troubled Crown corporation, including the way it delivers mail.
The report will be turned over to the House of Commons government operations committee for the next phase of the Liberals’ Canada Post review, which includes hearing from Canadians on what they need from their national postal service. The committee has already booked a cross-country tour for hearings through September and October.
The task force’s paper makes no recommendations but lays out many options for the committee to explore as it begins its consultations.
The options are aimed at making Canada Post “sustainable” and are expected to include ways to boost revenue, cut costs, increase productivity and improve the quality of postal services to Canadians.
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The draft versions of both tentative agreements have been completed and are at the printers. These will be distributed to the membership as soon as possible. This is a big job and will take several weeks, but you will get them. The National Executive Board (NEB) meets next week and will finalize the dates for the ratification votes. We will continue to provide more detailed information about the agreements throughout this time.
RSMC Transfer Rights
RSMC route holders and permanent relief employees will now have the right to bid on vacant routes and permanent relief position located anywhere in the country. All vacant routes and permanent relief positions will be posted for a period of 10 working days. The route or permanent relief position will be awarded based on the seniority of those who submitted applications. An employee who is the successful applicant for a vacant position will have up to two weeks to report to their new location if it is within 100 km of the installation that they currently work in and up to four weeks to report if it is more than 100 km from their current installation. When an RSMC obtains a route in a new installation, they are still required to remain in that installation for one year unless they obtain a route with a higher actual wage (which excludes vehicle allowance) or if their spouse is permanently relocated. This gain allows them to use their seniority to transfer anywhere in the country.
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The draft versions of both agreements will go to the printer shortly and in the meantime we will continue to issue bulletins on the various changes to the two collective agreements. Today’s bulletin will provide details on the changes to parcel delivery and unaddressed admail for Urban letter carriers.
Parcel Delivery Model
A big focus during this round was the expansion of services and both parties brought forward proposals on expanding parcel delivery in the evenings, mornings and on weekends. We were successful in negotiating a parcel delivery model that will allow CPC to pursue new markets that will create new jobs for our members. The model is designed for new products and services and expands on the Deliver Tonight Pilots that were run in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. In the early stages of this model much of the work may be done by temporary employees but if the new products and services are successful and grow, there is a mechanism that will create permanent jobs for our members.
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There were several key health and safety issues that were included in our program of demands and there are many questions about the status of these demands. We were determined throughout this round to force Canada Post to improve health and safety and working conditions.
One of the early successes during this round was signing language that decreased the maximum amount a RSMC must lift from 66 pounds to 50 pounds. This is an important gain and will do much to protect the health and safety of our RSMC members.
Another important health and safety issue is the time of day that unaddressed admail is prepared. By achieving our demand, this allows letter carriers to prepare unaddressed admail at the end of their workday and not in the morning prior to departure. This means that letter carriers are finishing their day inside instead of out on the street.
We also made some important progress in the establishment of a social steward network. Appendix “T”(1) – Labour-Management Relationship Committee includes an agreement for the parties to focus their efforts on “identifying means of supporting employees in need.” Appendix “T” includes funds that can be used for projects and we can utilize this to work on building our Social Steward network so that we can support and protect our members suffering from psychological challenges.
In every round of negotiations, it is not possible to achieve all of our demands and this round was no different. One of the most important health and safety demands was to eliminate the multiple bundle delivery methods and have letter carriers merge mail in their cases. We pushed hard to achieve this demand to the eleventh hour but in the end, it was not there. This was one of the difficult choices that we had to make when reviewing the tentative agreements. This issue is not gone, as the national grievance is still active and we will aggressively pursue this through that process. We were also unable to improve the language around our right to refuse. We must continue to work on improving this language, while at the same time lobbying the Federal Government to correct the definition of “danger” in the Canada Labour Code.
We are still faced with many challenges to improve health and safety for all CUPW members. One of the advantages of having two-year collective agreements is that we will be able to carry on where we left off in this round. The groundwork for improved health and safety has been established and these improvements are achievable if Canada Post comes to the table in the next round with a mandate to actually negotiate health and safety issues. We are confident that all the work that has been done during this round will be invaluable in the next round.
The ongoing dispute between postal workers and Canada Post highlights the need for justice on pay equity for all workers in this country.
Pay equity has been law since the Employment Equity Act was first enacted in 1986, but it has never been enforceable without decades of legal battles.
Canada Post is a serial offender on pay equity. They fought the PSAC’s pay equity claim all the way to the Supreme Court and managed to delay justice for 28 years. Many women who were entitled to equal pay passed away before they saw justice served. There is an active pay equity complaint against Canada Post from the CPAA that was first filed in 1993 and it is far from being finally resolved. In light of these facts, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers brought these glaring pay equity issues to the bargaining table.
Rural and Suburban Mail Carriers continue to make 28% less than Urban Letter Carriers. There couldn’t be a clearer case of employment inequity than that of the RSMCs at Canada Post, who are predominantly female workers and have inferior working conditions while doing the same job as letter carriers. After ten months of difficult negotiations, CUPW succeeded in establishing a process to finally resolve the pay discrepancies between Urban Letter Carriers and Rural and Suburban Mail Carriers. It will take no more than nineteen months to finish.
This is without question, the best pay equity resolution process ever put together in this country. And it leads to an obvious question: why isn’t every worker entitled to such a process?
Why should postal workers be the only ones able to resolve pay equity disputes in a timely manner?
Canada Post is not the only offender.
No worker should be forced to negotiate with an employer to enforce the law. Pay equity has been the law of the land for decades. It’s time for real enforcement of pay equity for all.
You Be the Judge
|CPC Global Offer||Tentative Agreement|
|Duration of Agreement||4 years||2 years|
|Wages||Urban||$1200.00 lump sum first year and 1.0% increase in each of the next 3 years||1% in the first year, retroactive to February 1st, 2016, and 1.5% in the second year|
|Most employees in Groups 3 and 4 receive $0.50 bump up||Most employees in Groups 3 and 4 receive $1.00 bump up|
|February 1, 2017: postal clerk/letter carrier hourly rate: $26.21||February 1, 2017: postal clerk/letter carrier hourly rate: $26.60|
|MAM 11 hourly rate: $30.25||MAM 11 hourly rate: $31.20|
|RSMC||Increase in activity values of average of 0.75% in each year||Increase in activity values of 1.50% in each year, with the first increase being retroactive to January 1st, 2016.|
|No pay equity process||19-month pay equity process; increases retroactive to January 1, 2016|
|Pension||Current employees continue to receive defined benefit pension||Current employees continue to receive defined benefit pension|
|All new employees receive defined contribution pension||All new employees receive defined benefit pension|
Urban Groups 1 and 2 (e.g. letter carriers and postal clerks):
CPC’s global offer for the first two years was a $1200.00 lump sum for the first year and 1.0% wage increase for the second year. The second year increase of 1.0% would have raised the hourly rate to $26.21 for an annual salary of $54,701.32. The tentative settlement will increase wages by 1% and 1.5%. In the second year, the maximum hourly rate will be $26.60 or $55,515.26 annually, which is $813.94 more than the Global Offer. This salary is pensionable, will be included in all future years, and will be the base for all future raises.
Urban Groups 3 and 4 (e.g. MAM 11):
CPC’s global offer for the first two years was a $1200.00 lump sum for the first year and a 1.0% wage increase and a $0.50 wage adjustment for the second year. The second year increase of 1.0% plus $0.50 would have raised the hourly rate of a MAM 11 to $30.25 for an annual salary of $63,132.96. The tentative settlement will increase wages by 1% in the first year and $1.00 plus 1.5% in the second year, bringing the maximum hourly rate to $31.20 or $65,115.65 annually. In the second year, the tentative agreement provides for an annual salary, which is $1,982.69 more than the global offer. This salary is pensionable, will be included in all future years, and will be the base for all future raises.
RSMCs (e.g. Zone 1):
CPC’s global offer for the first year for the overall RSMC unit was for wage/activity value increases averaging 0.75% in each year. For Zone 1 employees the increase was 0.6% in the first year and 0.8% for the second year. In the second year of the global offer the effective hourly rate for Zone 1 would have been be $19.72, an increase $0.28 over the 2015 rate. The tentative settlement will increase the wage/activity values by 1.5% in the first year and 1.5% in the second year. In the second year, the effective hourly rate for Zone 1 will be $20.03, an increase $0.59 over the 2015 rate. This salary is pensionable as opposed to piece rates. Future wage increases will be based on the results of the pay equity decision.
The CPC global offer also included significant changes in drive time which would have resulted in a net loss for the bargaining unit. The tentative agreement does not include CPC’s proposed 60 km rate and increases all other payments for drive time by 1.5% per year instead of 0.75% per year as included in the global offer. New drive times of 20km per hour and 30km per hour have been added. The result will be a significant improvement for the bargaining unit. There are also some changes to other activity values, the most important of which is a new sortation activity value for sequenced mail. The new drive times will be effective on January 1, 2017 and the new sortation value for sequenced mail can only be applied when there is a restructure.
The average annual wage increase (over the duration of the contract) is 1.25% for the urban tentative agreement and 1.5% for the RSMC tentative agreement. Labour Canada reports that for all unions settling agreements in June 2016 the average wage increase was 1.1%. The tentative agreement also provides for pay rate increases above those recently received by the Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association (CPAA).
Now that we have tentative collective agreements that have been recommended by the majority of the National Executive Board (NEB), what are the next steps?
The Negotiating Committee, the national and regional offices, and the locals will be working hard to get all the details of the tentative collective agreements out to all our members as soon as possible. There will be many bulletins, a tabloid and copies of the draft collective agreements. There will be a lot of information but that is necessary so that every member can make an informed decision when it comes time to vote.
The National Executive Board will determine the dates when the ratification votes will occur. The votes will occur over a period of five or six weeks. Once the NEB announces the dates, each Local will have to schedule meetings within this period so that all their members in each of the two bargaining units have the opportunity to vote on their respective tentative collective agreements. There will be representatives from either the national or regional offices or the Negotiating Committee at all of these meetings to make presentations and answer questions. Every member has a difficult decision to make and one question you must ask yourself is: can we do better if we vote no and go on strike?
Results of the Votes and the Next Steps
Once the ratification votes are all completed, the results will be compiled and they will be released. There are three possible outcomes to the votes:
- The majority of members vote yes to ratify both collective agreements.
- The majority of members vote no, and do not ratify either collective agreement.
- One collective agreement is ratified and one is not.
If both agreements are ratified (accepted), then they will be officially signed within 15 days of the results of the votes being released and the new provisions will take effect.
If both agreements are not ratified (rejected), then the negotiations will continue but will most likely start from square one. This means that all of our demands are back on the table and that all of Canada Post’s rollbacks are back on the table.
If one agreement is ratified and the other is not then one bargaining unit will be working under a new collective agreement and the other will be back at the negotiating table starting this process over.
If either one or both tentative collective agreements are rejected by the membership, then we will have to do a new strike vote so that we have the ability to negotiate with Canada Post on equal grounds. The NEB will decide if we will do a strike vote at the same time as the ratification votes (in case one or both tentative agreements are not ratified) or if we will wait for the results of the ratification votes before deciding to hold a new strike vote.
If we reject one or both of these tentative agreements, then everything that has been agreed to between the parties is off the table. The only exception to this is the pay equity review memorandum of understanding. This issue has been removed from the negotiations process, and this review will continue no matter what happens with the ratification votes.