Urban and RSMC Negotiations Discussion Paper

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Tuesday March 10 2015

March 2015

Sisters and Brothers:

We are about to enter a new round of negotiations. For a majority of us, this will not be our first involvement in collective bargaining – a regular occurrence for Canada Post workers. Others will experience negotiations for the first time; and what a unique experience it is! We all know that the best way to experience negotiations is to get involved from the start, which means taking part in the process of preparing the demands to be submitted to the employer. As such, this discussion paper is first and foremost an invitation to all members to get fully involved in this process.

The RSMC collective agreement will expire on December 31, 2015, and the urban collective agreement, on January 31, 2016. The negotiating process is the culmination of the Union's day-to-day activities. It's an extension of the work we do throughout the year to defend, represent, inform and mobilize our members. But it's also an opportunity to take stock of the situation and negotiate needed improvements in our wages and working conditions.

The next round of negotiations will present special challenges because we will be conducting negotiations with Canada Post for both units at the same time. That was one of the objectives we set in 2004, and is a major victory. It will increase and strengthen our balance of power with the employer, should we be forced to use our right to strike.

Also, 2015 will be a federal election year. Will the elections take place in late spring or on October 19, the fixed election date? Nobody knows for sure, but what we do know is that it will have a significant impact on negotiations. This begs the question: what type of negotiations will we have if we are again facing a majority conservative government? That is why our "Save Canada Post" campaign is so important. We must force Canada Post to abandon its five-point plan and we must make this an election issue.

This year, the preparatory meetings outlined in section 5.03 of the National Constitution will be taking place immediately prior to Convention, i.e. in March and April, because the regional conferences are scheduled to take place as of mid-June. At these local meetings, members will have an opportunity to debate the discussion paper prepared by the NEB and will adopt resolutions to be forwarded to their respective regions 45 days prior to the Conference. Then, we will be following the steps outlined in sections 6.04 to 6.21 of our National Constitution.

The National Executive Board suggests approaching these negotiations based on protecting the universal public postal service. We have a vision for the future and it must guide us. We want a postal service that serves the public, is based on service expansion and the preservation and creation of good jobs across the country.

Therefore, the Board proposes that we develop a global program of demands built on themes and principles. Such a global program would enable members of the Negotiating Committee to play their role fully and be creative in negotiating with the employer.

The NEB is proposing a single discussion paper for both bargaining units. One of the reasons for this is that the impact of Canada Post's decisions and changes in the organization of work are similar from one unit to the other.

We therefore hope this document will assist you in your discussions, help you understand the specific context of these negotiations and enable you to adopt the demands you deem essential to protect the postal service, to protect jobs and improve working conditions at Canada Post. We also hope this document will help you make the membership participate fully in the discussions and involve them in negotiations from the very start.

Following is the schedule for preparing the negotiations. It will help you plan your local calendar of activities.

March 2015

Discussion paper to be received by locals.

March and April 2015

Local membership meetings to study discussion paper and adopt resolutions.

End of April to first half of May depending on their regional conference

Deadline for locals to submit resolutions to their respective regions.

June 12-14 or June 13-15 OR June 26-28 or June 27-29

Regional conferences.

Mid-August 2015

National Directors' meeting to discuss the program of demands.

September 2015

Member vote to ratify the program of demands.

October 2015

Notice to bargain sent to employer.

 

The struggle continues.

 

In Solidarity,

Denis Lemelin
On behalf of the National Executive Board