Brothers and Sisters
The National Executive Board (NEB) is asking you to decide on the tentative agreement because we believe that such an important decision must be placed in the hands of all of the members who will have to live with its consequences. The choices are very difficult because of the terms of the back-to-work legislation passed by the Harper government and the extreme position that was adopted by Canada Post management during the arbitration process, before it was temporarily stopped by the court.
The back-to-work legislation imposed a Final Offer Selection process in which the government-appointed arbitrator must operate under a mandate heavily biased in favour of the employer. The situation is further worsened by the position taken by CPC management that they consider there to be dozens of issues in dispute, all of which could be included in their final offer should the arbitration proceed.
Despite the justice of our position and the experience and expertise of our negotiating committee, we are in a very difficult position.
Throughout the entire period during and after the passage of the back-to-work legislation, CUPW has steadfastly maintained that a negotiated collective agreement was preferable to any arbitration decision. Our experience with previous arbitrators has taught us the danger of placing our future in the hands of a third party that does not have to live with the terms of his or her decision.
After the August 8, 2012 Federal Court decision removing arbitrator Dufort, CPC realized that the process could take many more months and agreed to resume discussions with the Union. After several difficult weeks we were able to reach an agreement that contains negative changes, but also protects the membership from some of the most dangerous rollbacks proposed by CPC in their July 2012 offer.
Together, we have to make a difficult choice. We can choose to accept the new agreement, which contains some negative changes, but also protects us from much more serious rollbacks. Or, we can choose to place our destiny in the hands of a government-appointed arbitrator.
The majority of the NEB believes that the arbitrator could impose a collective agreement that includes many more serious negative changes impacting our pensions, benefits and job security. Therefore, we are recommending that you vote Yes to authorize us to implement the tentative settlement.