Health and Safety -- RSMC

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Wednesday May 12 2004

RSMC members have health and safety protection for the first time.

You are now covered by Part II of the Canada Labour Code (Article 24.01). The Code provides health and safety protection, including:

· THE RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE in and monitor health and safety programs in the workplace.

· THE RIGHT TO REFUSE to do work that may be hazardous to your health and safety.

· THE RIGHT TO KNOW. You have the right to be informed about the hazards of your work.

For more information, go to: http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/L-2/ .


Joint Health and Safety Committees

CUPW representatives sit on local and national health and safety committees with Canada Post Corporation (CPC) representatives. These committees provide the union with a forum for voicing concerns and pressing for solutions to problems between collective agreements.

If RSMC members work in an installation that already has a Local CUPW-CPC Health and Safety Committee, the existing committee will address their concerns. The Transition Committee that is dealing with RSMC integration issues is responsible for making recommendations to establish health and safety committees or other representative structures in locations that do not have committees.


How Does a Local Joint Health and Safety Committee Work?

A Local Joint Health and Safety Committee is made up of CUPW and CPC representatives. The union selects its representatives according to local by-laws.

The Canada Labour Code mandates this committee to meet a minimum of nine times a year in order to discuss workplace health and safety issues. The committee deals with problems and concerns that are identified by workers and regular inspections. It also discusses accident and near misses as well as preventative measures that should be taken.

Union representatives are responsible for making recommendations to Canada Post representatives on all aspects of workers' health and safety, including training and the implementation of policies. The corporation is obligated, under the Canada Labour Code, to seriously consider recommendations from the union. It must respond to recommendations within thirty days of receiving them. Canada Post's response must outline what action, if any, will be taken and when it will be taken. After the corporation has responded, the local can ask a regional union representative to have the issue discussed at regional consultation or dealt with through the grievance- arbitration process. If the issue is not resolved at the regional level, regional and national union representatives will determine whether the issue should be raised at the National Joint Health and Safety Committee or dealt with by the local through the grievance process.


National Health and Safety Committee

CUPW also has its own National Health and Safety Committee, which meets at least twice a year. This committee is made up of one member from each region (elected at convention) plus other regional and national union representatives. It is responsible for preparing a report on health and safety issues, which includes recommendations to the union's National Executive Board. (Article 4.12 of National Constitution).


Other Local Committees

Some locals have a union health and safety committee (as opposed to a joint union-management health and safety committee), which allows members to freely discuss issues and develop strategies for dealing with problems.

If you have health and safety issues or concerns, be sure to discuss them with a local union representative. If you do not know