Thursday August 2 2018

Message from the National President

This is a critical stage in our bargaining process. 

What a Strike Mandate Means

As in the past, we will do everything possible to achieve an agreement without a strike. Over the decades, we’ve seen time and again that when bargaining is tough, the only thing that gets Canada Post Corporation (CPC) moving is a powerful strike mandate – it’s where our bargaining power really comes from.

Still, if we have not reached agreements by September 26, 2018, we will have to be ready for some type of job action. In striking down the back-to-work legislation of 2012, Justice Firestone found that our right to strike is protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Therefore, management will have to negotiate. This time, they can’t sit back and wait for back-to-work legislation to impose their rollbacks.

Resolving 2012, Continuing 2016…

This round of negotiations is both difficult and complex. We have to address issues arising from the changing nature of our work, including the continuing explosion of parcel volumes.

We also have outstanding issues from previous bargaining rounds. In 2012, the Harper government’s unconstitutional back-to-work legislation forced CUPW to take concessions in order to save our pension and avoid an arbitration which could have gutted the Urban collective agreement.
In 2016, we accepted stopgap mediated agreements that left many of our issues unresolved, knowing that it all would be back on the table this time. This is the year to address it all, to solve some workplace problems and make serious gains.

…and Looking to the Future

We are thinking ahead: as letter volumes decline we need growth in other services and new work at Canada Post. Other postal administrations are expanding their postal banks, delivering groceries and introducing new services for seniors. We are determined to see Canada Post follow their examples and innovate.

We recognize that both Canada Post and CUPW have responsibilities to work together to reduce our environmental impact. We have put forward a bold vision: Delivering Community Power. Our vision will expand services for everyone and generate more revenue while also creating new jobs. It’s interconnected: our environment demand supports the Delivering Community Power campaign, and the campaign’s massive public support will help us in bargaining. Tell your friends and family about it and help build our power.

A New Interim CEO but No Changes in CPC Labour Relations

A strong strike mandate will also show CPC’s interim CEO Jessica McDonald that we need action at the bargaining table, not just promises in press releases and letters to employees.

We have heard lots of talk about a new mandate. But we are still dealing with management determined to maintain the rollbacks that they extorted from the urban workers in 2012. They still refuse to address important issues of work/life balance and health and safety. They still refuse to address some basic issues for RSMCs. Even on access to the information necessary to enforce the collective agreement, management has continually placed obstacles, stopping an agreement on what should be considered a basic union right.

Pay Equity Process – Separate but Related

For RSMCs, the day for true equality is drawing near. Equity in terms of wages and benefits is being addressed in the separate pay equity process which is currently being overseen by Mediator/Arbitrator Flynn. But some very important issues such as the right to be paid for all hours worked, job security, and guaranteed minimum hours are not covered by the pay equity process – we must negotiate these. Sadly, management has said they have no interest in providing equality, just equity. A very strong strike vote is what it will take to get them to change their position and enter the 21st century.

Mobilize Now

There are many ways to support your Negotiating Committee between now and September 26, 2018. Be creative, vocal, and positive!
send messages of support by letter, postcard, email, and social media – any way you can
talk with your family, neighbours and friends – let everyone know you deserve your demands and you support your union
when your local calls an action – show up and support.
tell the bosses you are ready.
Take every opportunity to talk to other members about what you can do to show your support.
Together, we can achieve so much.

Mike Palecek
National President