Amid a Busy Year, a Crucial Review of our Postal Service

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Wednesday November 9 2016
2015-2019/205

With so much going on this year in bargaining, you may have heard less about CUPW’s other ongoing work. While the ratification meetings go on, the federal government is proceeding with its review of Canada Post. Our union has been taking every opportunity to engage, and to mobilize members and the whole public to engage with the review. We want the Liberal government to live up to their 2015 promise to stop the home mail cuts and to conduct a review of Canada Post “to make sure that it provides high-quality service at a reasonable price to Canadians, no matter where they live.”

 

Task Force work

For the first stage of the review a four-member task force was appointed to consult stakeholders and prepare a discussion paper for the review. This was our opportunity to advance many topics that we felt must be part of the discussion of our postal service’s future. CUPW’s submission was comprehensive, identifying potential for growth and ways to ensure a relevant and self-sustaining public postal service for the future. It’s available at http://www.cupw.ca/en/campaigns-and-issues/review-canada-post/submission...

The task force’s report was disappointing. It dismissed or minimized the postal service’s opportunities for growth and diversified revenue, and entertained a host of severe cost-cutting and service-diminishing options.

 

Committee work

The review is now in its second stage. Parliament’s Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates (OGGO) held hearings across the country to hear ideas and opinions about the postal service’s future. At the same time they held an online survey to consult the public on an individual basis.

The committee’s survey, influenced by the task force discussion paper, also concentrated on cost-cutting measures. Some members of the committee seem to have completely bought the dire financial projections by Canada Post and friends - projections that the corporation consistently outperforms!

CUPW has appeared at as many of these hearings as possible to correct misinformation in the task force report and to assert our ideas for growth and new revenue at Canada Post. We also did all we could to mobilize input to the online survey. We distributed flyers, advertisements, letters to allies and supporters, social-media memes and posts, radio spots, and online petitions. Response was encouraging, but unfortunately we don’t yet know how exactly many people did the survey, nor what weight their comments will have in the committee’s report.

On Thursday, November 3, CUPW presented once again to the OGGO committee. It appears we have had the ‘last word’ to the committee, with the exception of one more appearance by the task force itself.

 

So what can we expect, and when?

The Committee will make a report with recommendations to the House of Commons, and the government will decide on how to respond to recommendations in the spring. The Committee will release the report to the public as well.

 

More information and action

We’ve posted a lot of background documents at http://cupw.ca/canadapostreview on what the union has submitted and said about the review so far. On several occasions at both the task force and committee stages, CUPW raised issues with the office of the Minister responsible for Canada Post, Judy Foote, about bias, lack of transparency, and inadequate public outreach in the review process.

The next opportunity to act will probably come when the committee issues its report, which we expect some time in late November or early December.

As with previous postal service reviews, we will be sure to let everyone know how and when individual members can take further action.

Remember, you can sign up at: http://cupw.ca/edigest to stay informed every week on this and other news.

 

In solidarity,

George Floresco
3rd National Vice-President