Introducing our 2017-2018 Urban Negotiating Committee

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Friday May 12 2017
No. 1

The national executive board has nominated the negotiating committee to represent the Urban Postal Operations (UPO) unit in the 2017-2018 round of bargaining. These 5 members, which include a technical assistant (Brother Stephen Gale) join Brother Sylvain Lapointe, previously announced as chief negotiator for the unit. Let’s look at the diversity and range of the committee’s experience :


Robby Jouhal:

A member of the Toronto Local, Robby is approaching 25 years working for Canada Post. He started as a casual clerk at Priority Courier, and then worked on XpressPost at the Gateway Facility and SCLPP. He’s now a MAM-11 in the Technical Services department with experience at both plants.

In our union, Robby has been a Shop Steward, LJHSC Co-Chair and member, Chief Shop Steward GL&T, Appendix DD trainer, and Union educational facilitator with thorough knowledge of benefits. Currently he’s a Union Representative (Alternate) at the Regional level. Robby has vast experience with all groups, representing members at many local consultations. He also has experience with every stage and every level of the grievance and arbitration process.


Cathy Kennedy:

Cathy was a part-time P04 from 1981 to 1984, and has been a Mail Despatcher since 1984.

Her CUPW experience is deep. She’s been Shop Steward, Local Grievance Officer, Regional Union Rep, National Union Rep, and has assisted or been a member of each negotiating committee since 1994. She currently works on Pay Equity, Benefits and Disability Management. Cathy has extensive knowledge of the collective agreements and is an experienced advocate in arbitration processes.


Tobi Vandermoer:

Tobi has worked for Canada Post for 26 years. She was an Admail worker for three years before working as a Letter Carrier and Mail Service Courier (MSC) for 20 years, and has been a PO4 in the London Mail Processing Plant for the past three years.

She has over 20 years’ experience as a Shop Steward and has been Local President and First Vice President, currently holding the position of Chief Shop Steward ‑Internal. Tobi has trained through the Union and has facilitated numerous courses including the work measurement systems for both letter carriers and MSCs (LCRMS and MSCWSS).   She has experience at the WSIB (Workplace Safety and Insurance Board), Grievance and Arbitration, Human Rights, Health and

Safety, and as a member of the National Work Measurement Committee for twelve years.


Stephen Gale:

Stephen has been a letter carrier with Canada Post since January 1999. He worked in regular depots for a time, and now has a route in a depot where he went through the implementation of Postal Transformation.

He has been active with the Fraser Valley West local of CUPW since acting as a picket captain in preparation for the potential strike in 2003. He was also one of the lead observers in the Vancouver Parcel Project in 2004. He became Executive Chief Shop Steward shortly thereafter. He has been Local President since May 2005. In 2014 the local changed the president role to a part-time position. Stephen spent the year before the 2015 negotiations working as a letter carrier half the time, and in the union office the other half.

Stephen was a member of the CUPW UPO negotiating committee for the 2006-07 and the 2015-16 rounds of bargaining. He is also in his third term on the labour council executive and is currently the co-chair of the Political Action Committee.


François Senneville:

François started at Canada post in 2003.

He has been a Shop Steward, a member of the Québec local executive and Regional Union Representative. François’ knowledge of the grievance and arbitration process is extensive. He is also a facilitator of many CUPW courses including the arbitration course. He has argued cases at both arbitration and at the worker compensation board tribunal. François is National Director of the Québec region since the 2015 convention.

We are confident that Sisters Tobi and Cathy, and Brothers François, Robby and Stephen will do us all proud at the bargaining table. We all welcome them and express congratulations and full support!

Watch for the development of our program of demands this summer, and please stay informed on our negotiations as the pace picks up soon.



Sylvain Lapointe
Chief Negotiator, Urban Unit