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.
On Wednesday, October 24, 2018, Minister of Labour Ms Patty Hajdu appointed Mr. Morton Mitchnick as a special mediator to assist the parties in reaching negotiated collective agreements. Your negotiating committee will work with the special mediator and Mr. Peter Simpson, Director General of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services, to achieve the improvements that we need in our collective agreements.
Today the Employer responded to a new proposal aimed at achieving our demand to address overburdening. The answer was NO. The injury rate at Canada Post is the highest of all federal industries and 5.4 times higher than the average of the federal sector. The official line of management is “We are not happy with the results. Clearly more work must be done”.
Since the Union issued 72-hour strike notice to Canada Post on Tuesday, October 16, 2018, there has been no response from Canada Post. Your negotiating committee is ready, willing and determined to get back to the bargaining table.
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