On February 2nd we were notified that Maureen Flynn has been appointed as our arbitrator under the Pay Equity Study Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Though the parties have not had a disagreement that requires Arbitrator Flynn’s intervention, we welcome her appointment. Her appointment will allow for any disagreements to be handled expeditiously.
Canada Post and CUPW have agreed to a 19 month Pay Equity process. The MOU has agreed upon timelines for completing the process within 19 months. The first month was the selection of the committee and the pay equity expert consultants. The next 12 months (October 2016 – September 2017) is the actual study. From October to December 2017 the parties are to negotiate any changes to the Collective Agreement to reflect the Pay Equity Study’s findings. If the parties cannot agree, then from January to March of 2018 we will be in arbitration in front of Arbitrator Flynn. Arbitrator Flynn is also required to provide us with hearing dates throughout the process in case of disagreements.
It may seem pretty easy to compare the job of a RSMC with a letter carrier. By just observing them both at work it is pretty obvious the work is the same. But the MOU directs the parties (CUPW & CPC) to conduct a Pay Equity Study in accordance with the Human Rights Act and the Equal Wage Guidelines. We want to ensure that we are following every step in the Act and in the Guidelines so that any decision rendered by the expert consultants or by the arbitrator cannot be challenged.
The first step in the study is to determine a male comparator. The consultants wanted to ensure that at least in the beginning, we looked at the broadest range of possible comparators. In line with the Act, the male comparators are all jobs in group 2 and PO5s -Mail Despatchers. Mail Despatchers may seem an odd comparator but a Pay Equity Study compares work of “equal value” and not identical work.
The next step in the study is for the consultants to develop Job Profiles. Job profiles represent the different type of work found within the RSMCs and the comparator group. Job profiles are developed by the consultants based on interviews with members.
Once completed, there will be a review of the profiles by both parties. There will be focus groups with the consultants for each Job Profile to ensure that it actually captures the work that is being performed. The focus groups have not been set up yet. We will keep you posted.
In our next bulletin we will outline what is required in a Job Evaluation Plan, which has strict rules that must be followed to ensure compliance with the Act and with the Guidelines.