Only one year ago, we had just finished our national convention and I wrote that I would follow through with “my commitment to build a united union, to fight the attacks on all our members and to mobilize the membership” for the future. How could we have ever predicted that our members would play such a crucial and historically unprecedented role in our communities? During this pandemic, we are doing what we do best.
Every year on April 28, we take time to remember and honour the many workers who have passed away, were injured, or made ill because of the work they do. It is completely unacceptable that 1,000 workers in this country lose their lives in the workplace every year.
These are challenging and stressful times for CUPW members. The loss of normalcy; the loss of connection; the invisible, unknown health risks, and not knowing what tomorrow will bring are all testing us. The whole world is feeling worried – including me.
I want to send a message to my entire CUPW family, all of our active members and our retirees. First of all, I want you to know that during this time of crisis, our CUPW leadership is absolutely focused on protecting our membership in every way we can. We are facing the most significant health crisis in memory and I know that our families and members — and all working people— are worried, unsure of what tomorrow will bring and facing hardships and extremely difficult challenges and decisions.
On January 24th we received confirmation from Arbitrator Elizabeth McPherson regarding the issues in dispute that will be argued at Arbitration.
Arbitrator McPherson was appointed by the Government on December 10th, 2018 to arbitrate the RSMC and Urban Collective Agreements as a result of the Back to Work Legislation that was imposed on November 26th, 2018.
The first two days of hearings, in front of Arbitrator MacPherson, are now complete. Much of the time was spent clarifying the “matters” that are still in dispute and will be argued during the arbitration. After hearing the submissions from the CUPW and Canada Post counsels, the arbitrator made her ruling on the matters that are in dispute.
The arbitration process, imposed on us in the back to work legislation, officially begins on Wednesday, January 16, 2019. Your negotiating committee and our legal counsel, along with Canada Post representatives, will meet with Arbitrator Elizabeth MacPherson to discuss the issues in dispute and the arbitration process.
As the debate carries on over the back to work legislation, your negotiating committee is continuing to work with mediator Mr. Morton Mitchnick. We will continue as long as we can to attempt and achieve negotiated collective agreements. Legislation and arbitration are not the way to resolve this dispute and to try and improve the relationship between CUPW and Canada Post.
In an effort to achieve negotiated collective agreements and end the strike activities, the Minister of Labour, Ms Patty Hajdu has given mediator Mr. Morton Mitchnick another mandate.
This government has said they agree that a negotiated settlement is the best resolution in the long run, they believe in free collective bargaining and agreed to renew the mandate of the mediator Morton Mitchnick for a short period of time. CUPW believes that the threat of back-to-work legislation will undermine the chances of negotiated settlements. We’ll do our best to reach a negotiated settlement as quickly as possible with the assistance of the mediator. We will see shortly if this was a real attempt to achieve negotiated settlements.
Your negotiating committee worked long hours all weekend with the assistance of Mediator Morton Mitchnick, in an attempt to unblock what seemed to be an impasse. We met with both the mediator and Canada Post numerous times over the weekend and we will continue to meet with the objective to achieve negotiated settlements. Your negotiators are determined to get the agreements that you deserve.
Support Postal Banking - Download and Sign the Petition
Canada needs a postal bank. Thousands of rural towns and villages in our country do not have a bank, but many of them have a post office that could provide financial services. As well, nearly two million Canadians desperately need an alternative to payday lenders. A postal bank could be that alternative. Download and sign the petition urging the Government of Canada to instruct Canada Post to add postal banking, with a mandate for financial inclusion.