This is a critical stage in our bargaining process. As in the past, we will do everything possible to achieve an agreement without a strike. Over the decades, we’ve seen time and again that when bargaining is tough, the only thing that gets Canada Post Corporation (CPC) moving is a powerful strike mandate – it’s where our bargaining power really comes from. Still, if we have not reached agreements by September 26, 2018, we will have to be ready for some type of job action. In striking down the back-to-work legislation of 2012, Justice Firestone found that our right to strike is protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Therefore, management will have to negotiate. This time, they can’t sit back and wait for back-to-work legislation to impose their rollbacks.
After more than six months of difficult and frustrating negotiations we need to send Canada Post management a strong message. “Address the Union’s proposals for equality, job security, improvements, full-time jobs and healthy working conditions and drop your demands for rollbacks. And do it now!” This strike vote is about the future – our future. At stake are our pensions, wages, benefits and working conditions for years to come. This is our opportunity to tell the employer where we stand and that we deserve better.
Volume 41, Number 1, March 2013 - CUPW members in both the urban and rural bargaining units have ratified their respective collective agreements. Both agreements were achieved only after lengthy negotiations. In the case of the urban unit, the settlement was negotiated as part of the final offer selection process established pursuant to the back-to-work legislation imposed by the Harper government. The rural agreement was reached as part of a negotiated settlement without government intervention, but the possibility of back-to-work legislation was a factor in the union’s decision to recommend acceptance.
Message from the negotiating committee - The National Executive Board (NEB) has decided to put the tentative collective agreement to a vote of the membership. If the membership supports the NEB recommendation, the changes will be incorporated into the collective agreement, which will remain in force until December 31, 2015 or until the parties obtain the right to lockout or strike. If the membership does not ratify the tentative agreement, the NEB will decide our course of action. After many frustrating months we have reached the point where we believe it is appropriate to put the decision into the hands of the membership. We are supporting this agreement not only because it contains some significant improvements, but also because we are aware of the level of uncertainty that exists in collective bargaining in the federal sector. Considering the experience of other unions in the rail and airline sectors, and also the experience of the CUPW urban operations unit, we believe there is no guarantee of success if we pursue the conciliation/strike route at this time. The anti-labour bias of the Harper government has only served to reinforce the hardline that has been taken by Canada Post management during the entire length of negotiations.
Message From the National Executive Board - Brothers and Sisters - The National Executive Board (NEB) is asking you to decide on the tentative agreement because we believe that such an important decision must be placed in the hands of all of the members who will have to live with its consequences. The choices are very difficult because of the terms of the back-to-work legislation passed by the Harper government and the extreme position that was adopted by Canada Post management during the arbitration process, before it was temporarily stopped by the court. The back-to-work legislation imposed a Final Offer Selection process in which the government-appointed arbitrator must operate under a mandate heavily biased in favour of the employer. The situation is further worsened by the position taken by CPC management that they consider there to be dozens of issues in dispute, all of which could be included in their final offer should the arbitration proceed. Despite the justice of our position and the experience and expertise of our negotiating committee, we are in a very difficult position.
The 2012 negotiations represent a historic opportunity to negotiate real parity between RSMCs and urban postal workers. For decades RSMCs have performed work which requires equivalent skill, effort and responsibility. Now, the time has come to obtain equal pay and the same benefits and working conditions as other postal workers. Now it’s time for fairness, respect and progress.
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.