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The upcoming negotiations are crucial for the future of every CUPW member employed at Canada Post Corporation. Job security, wages, benefits, pensions, working conditions – everything is determined by what happens in collective bargaining.
This year we enter negotiations with some unknown circumstances. In the Government's Canada Post Review, both the task force and the parliamentary committee have studied Canada Post's operations and finances and made recommendations. But the Liberal government still has not announced their decision as to what direction it wants Canada Post to take. They may agree with CUPW and the public and instruct Canada Post to increase its services to the public. Or they may continue the direction of the previous Conservative government and order more cutbacks or privatization. We also do not know what the impact of the resignation of Deepak Chopra may have on negotiations. During both the 2011 and 2016 negotiations Mr. Chopra preferred to serve lock-out notices to CUPW rather than negotiate with us. Normally his departure would be taken as good news but we still do not know who will replace him and what mandate the government will provide to the next president. Finally we also do not know what result will come from the pay equity process we negotiated in 2016.
Faced with these uncertainties we are proposing a comprehensive program of demands which will ensure that no matter what the government decides, or what the result of the Pay Equity process, we will have demands which enable us to address all important issues at the bargaining table. That is why, in addition to demands on job security, wages, benefits and working conditions you will also find demands addressing services to the public, which will also provide jobs for CUPW members, add revenues to Canada Post Corporation and also address the environment.
As you can see the demands also address the needs of many members. We have demands to provide an additional increase to the minimum rates of pay and reduce the number of years it takes to reach the maximum rate. This will help all new employees and will especially help temporary workers and OCRE. We also are addressing the need for Maintenance workers to receive a pay adjustment. Negotiating increased evening and shift premiums will create an incentive for management to schedule more work during the dayshift. And we have several demands which are designed to eliminate the overburdening of RSMC and letter carriers and ensure that routes are structured properly. Also we have demands to address the internal workers' (Group 1) issues.
Likewise for RSMCs we are determined to negotiate basic rights that urban unit workers are entitled to such as job security, guaranteed hours of work, hourly rates clearly stated in the collective agreement and pay for all hours worked including overtime.
Since we legally have two separate collective agreements urban and RSMC members must vote separately on their respective programs of demands. As you can see most of the demands apply to both bargaining units. That is why our goal is one collective agreement. We have listed demands C.1 to C.25 which are included in both the Urban and RSMC Programs of Demands. In addition we have demands U.1 to U.6 –which are included in the Urban program, and demands R.1 to R.5 – which are included in the RSMC program.
Although we have two separate programs of demands, we have once again decided to have both the urban and rural negotiating committees work together. As in 2016 we will stick together and plan our bargaining strategy and actions. Canada Post management will know that we are prepared, united and strong together.
We were able to negotiate a no-concessions agreement with improvements in 2016 because the government and employer knew we were united. Throughout the summer of 2016 postal workers were on the streets, lobbying, meeting MPs, demonstrating, attending exhibitions and fairs, and taking a wide variety of workplace actions to let the employer and government know we were prepared to fight for our rights. We were everywhere, we were noticed and we gained the support of the public.
In the upcoming bargaining we will have to be just as active and mobilized as we were in 2016. Maybe even more so.
These negotiations will not only determine our job security, wages, benefits and working conditions, they will shape the future of the postal service and our future with it. Stick together. Be United. Stay Strong.
for the National Executive Board
All of these demands impact on both RSMCs and urban workers and are included in both the Urban and RSMC Program of Demands:
C.1: Job Security: Extend full job security to all regular employees.
C.2: Door-to-Door Mail Delivery: Restore door-to-door delivery to all points of call where it was removed. Expand door-to-door delivery, and any change in mode of delivery must be by agreement of the parties.
C.3: Improve Services and Standards to the Public: Expand retail services, delivery hours, banking, and internet and other services. Contract-in all work that CUPW members can perform with no contracting out of work. Maximize work in local communities.
C.4: Wages: Eliminate the CTI and provide significant wage increase with full retroactivity and a cost of living allowance.
C.5: Reduce the Wage Gap: Reduce the number of increment levels and raise minimum wage levels.
C.6: Education Fund: Increase the education fund.
C.7: Benefit Plans: Improve benefit plans including the dental plan, extended health care plan, vision and hearing plan and life insurance for both active employees and retirees.
C.8: Domestic Violence: Provide protections and support for employees facing situations of domestic violence.
C.9: Injury on Duty: Provide for 100% pay in cases of injury on duty and stop CPC from clawing back payments where there is no instance of fraud.
C.10: Article 20: improve Article 20, including the addition of paid sick leave with no reduction of personal days.
C.11: Maternity, Parental and Compassionate Care Leaves: Improve maternity, parental and compassionate care leaves.
C.12: Precautionary Cessation of Work: Pregnant and breastfeeding employees shall be entitled to precautionary cessation of work.
C.13: Night Recovery Leave and Premiums: Improvements to night recovery leave for all groups and increase night and evening shift premiums.
C.14: Special Leave: Eliminate the requirement to exhaust all personal days prior to accessing special leave.
C.15: Social Stewards: Recognition of the rights of social stewards in the collective agreement.
C.16: Access to information: Clarify the obligation of CPC to provide the union with all information necessary for the enforcement of the collective agreement; such as information on issues related to staffing, Maximo, mail volumes, payments and finances, work measurement systems, and health and safety.
C.17: Reduce Overburdening: Adopt all necessary measures to reduce overburdening of RSMC and letter carriers including overburdening created by the delivery of admail.
C.18: RSMC and Letter Carrier Workload and Work Process: Provide time values to combine sequenced mail with final sort mail to create a single tie-out. Obtain appropriate time values for all work including delivery of parcels and pick-ups.
C.19: Union Observers: Ensure union has the right to observers at every step of the entire restructuring process at equal numbers to the Employer, paid by the Employer. No implementation of a restructure if a grievance is filed.
C.20: Maintain Contract Provisions: Renew all provisions to ensure they continue to apply until the expiry of the collective agreement.
C.21: Five Minute Wash-Up: Obtain a five minute wash-up period at the end of a shift.
C.22: Green Canada Post Operations and Reduce Emissions with New Services: Require CPC to take measures to reduce its environmental footprint, initiate new environmental services and negotiate joint environmental sustainability committees.
C.23: Filling of vacancies: Vacant positions shall be filled as they occur. Prior to hiring from outside of the bargaining unit, positions should be offered to urban temporary employees employed outside of the office, then to RSMCs, and then outside with a preference to hiring First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples. A vacant RSMC position shall be offered to on-call reliefs, then to urban members, and then outside with a preference to hiring First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples.
C.24: Distinct Seniority: Maintain a distinct regime between the Rural and Urban units for the purpose of the application of seniority.
C.25: Maintain Designation of Routes: During restructures urban and rural routes shall remain distinct. No rural routes or part thereof can be re-designated as an urban route. Likewise no urban route, or part thereof, can be re-designated as a rural route. Appendix E in the urban agreement shall apply when determining where new points of call are attributed.
In the last round of bargaining, thanks to the tremendous mobilization of the CUPW membership, we managed to negotiate a non-concessionary agreement which also contained some improvements in benefits, rights and working conditions. However we were not able to address many of the rollbacks which resulted from the Conservative government's unconstitutional legislation which denied us the right to negotiate in 2011 and 2012. Our fight to resolve serious problems facing our membership continues.
Postal transformation, separate sort and delivery, network changes and other plans of Canada Post, have negatively impacted almost all urban postal workers. Work in the mail processing plants has intensified. Letter carrier routes are longer and heavier due to sequencing and increased parcels and admail. Maintenance workers face staff shortages and imposition of unfavourable work schedules. Cutbacks in retail staff impede the ability of wicket clerks to provide good service to the public. Contrary to the self-congratulatory statements of management, Labour Canada reports that disabling injuries continue to increase and that the injury rate at Canada Post is 4.6 times that of the overall Federal Sector. The result is more stress for workers while Canada Post continues to report large profits.
Our program of demands for the Urban Bargaining unit addresses many important issues. We need a significant wage increase for all urban workers with a special adjustment for maintenance workers. The large wage differential between the minimum and maximum wage levels must be reduced by significantly raising the minimum level and reduce the number of wage increments. This will also increase the pay of temporary workers. We need to fix staffing in Group 1 so that temporary and part-time workers can obtain full-time jobs. We need to maximize dayshift positions wherever possible. And we need to ensure that letter carriers can finish their work day feeling healthy instead of exhausted.
Most of the demands affect both urban workers and RSMCs. That is why demands C.1 to C.25 are proposals for both the RSMC and Urban bargaining units. However there are demands that only affect urban workers. These issues are addressed in Demands U.1 to U.6. Therefore the entire Urban Program of Demands includes demands U.1 to U.6 and demands C.1 to C.25. Demands R.1 to R.5 are not part of the Urban Program of Demands as they apply only to RSMC.
In 2016 we rejected concessions and negotiated improvements because we were united, strong, and mobilized. Twice CPC issued lock-out notices and twice they withdrew them. There is no doubt this was because the government understood we were ready to defend our rights and that we had considerable support from the public. This year will be no exception. Once again we will need the active support of all postal workers. Stay informed. Come out to meetings and the ratification votes. Participate in union activities and engage your co-workers and communities. Together we can move forward and make progress.
U.1: Group 1 Staffing: Strengthen the provisions for staffing in Group 1 to maximize full-time regular positions.
U.2: Groups 3 and 4: Obtain a wage adjustment for all technical trades employees. Add a new classification for vehicle maintenance employees working on heavy vehicles.
U.3: Job Descriptions: Where necessary clarify job descriptions and tasks for classifications.
U.4: Percentage of Coverage MVI: Address the formula for the percentage of coverage and the mail volume index to improve the structuring of routes.
U.5: Lieu Days: Part-time employees to be entitled to "lieu days" when on vacation.
U.6: Compulsory overtime. Provide solutions to limit the use of compulsory overtime.
The National Executive Board recommends unanimously to the membership of the Urban Operations Unit to vote YES to the National Program of Demands:
Last year we entered negotiations determined to achieve equality for RSMCs. It is intolerable that a predominantly female group of RSMCs, doing the same work as a predominantly male group of letter carriers, do not receive equal wages and benefits. We successfully negotiated a process to provide pay equity for all RSMCs and we expect that when this process concludes, RSMCs will, at last, obtain equal compensation.
But equality is more than wages and benefits. Equality is about security. All workers deserve job security and guaranteed hours of work so we can plan our lives. Equality is about being paid for all hours that you work, including overtime when it is necessary. And equality is about having safe working conditions and a reasonable workload.
That is why our first demand, Demand R.1 - Equality for RSMCs is so important. When we demand that RSMCs receive the same rights, benefits and conditions as urban workers we are saying we want full job security, equal wages, guaranteed hours, pay for all hours worked, and all of the rights and benefits that urban workers are entitled to. We are all doing similar work for the same employer. We demand equality and will accept nothing less. We deserve it.
The RSMC-specific Demands There are some distinct issues that relate to the work of RSMCs. These issues are addressed in Demands R.1 to R.5. However most of our demands address problems experienced by all members working at Canada Post . That is why demands C.1 to C.25 are proposals for both the RSMC and the Urban bargaining units. Therefore the RSMC Program of demands includes demands R.1 to R.5 and demands C.1 to C.25
Demands U.1 to U.6 are not part of the RSMC Program of Demands as they apply only to urban workers.
RSMC have never been as close to achieving full equality as we are today. But no one should think it will be easy. CPC is likely to make every effort to delay the process and deny us our rights. In this struggle we are not only fighting for ourselves but also to improve the services that the Canadian public deserves. History has taught us that there is nothing as strong as an informed and active membership, ready and able to fight for its rights. Together, with our communities, we are going to cross the finish line and obtain equal wages, benefits, rights and working conditions that we deserve.
R.1: Equality for RSMC: RSMC to receive the same rights, benefits and conditions as urban workers while addressing the specific issues in this Program of Demands.
R.2: Seniority Date: The first date of hire at Canada Post shall be recognized as the seniority date provided there is no break in service in excess of 9.5 months.
R.3: Work Measurement: RSMC routes shall be structured based on the provisions of the Letter Carrier Route Measurement System (LCRMS) with appropriate modifications.
R.4: Corporate Vehicles: CPC shall provide an appropriate corporate vehicle for all employees, prioritizing employees who request, while providing a process and protections for the transitions period such as but not limited to providing roadside assistance for work related vehicle problems.
R.5: On Call Relief Employees (OCRE): Improve the rights and benefits of On Call Relief Employees.
The National Executive Board recommends unanimously to the membership of the RSMC Unit to vote YES to the National Program of Demands:
The National Executive Board recommends unanimously to the membership of the RSMC unit to vote YES to: "Recognize the RSMC unit members' first date of hire as a worker at Canada Post as their seniority date, provided there is no break in service in excess of 9.5 months, and to provide for a mechanism to adjust seniority dates as required."