While we have reached tentative agreements for both the urban and RSMC bargaining units, these are short-term collective agreements and we will be back at the bargaining table next year. Many of our issues remain unresolved. One year from now, we will be heading back to the bargaining table to finish the job. There is much work to be done.
Over the next 13 months, we will be working on a third-party pay-equity report regarding RSMCs. We are confident of what this report will say: that RSMCs make 30% less than their urban counterparts for doing work of equal value. This report will be immediately followed by negotiations to implement the findings. Canada Post will not be able to play games with the results; if they do, we will strike.
The results of the government’s review of Canada Post are expected to be out in April. We will have to work hard this fall to ensure that the government gets the message: we want to expand services for the public. Postal banking is one of many services Canada Post could be providing. It is something that is done around the world and urgently needed in this country.
While we have been successful in maintaining our defined benefit pension plan for all current and future permanent workers, we can be sure that the boss will come after it in the next round. The solvency test is nothing but a bogeyman that is used to extract concessions from workers. This test needs a major overhaul. It makes very little sense for a crown corporation to be subject to this test to begin with.
Many of our issues are unresolved. Members should not believe for a second that we will win without a fight. The next year and a half will decide the future of the post office for decades. Next year, we will return to the bargaining table, knowing the results of the government review of Canada Post, pay-equity report in hand, and our right to strike intact. I would strongly encourage members to start putting money aside and preparing for the struggle ahead.