The Union and Canada Post have agreed to a process to undertake a pay equity review with regard to the Rural and Suburban Mail Carriers (RSMC). This process is outlined in a memorandum of understanding that the parties have signed today.
No later than 30 days from the signing of this memorandum, the parties will establish a Joint Pay Equity Committee composed of three (3) representatives from the Union and three (3) representatives from the Corporation. Each party will also appoint an independent pay equity consultant and agree on the appointment of an experienced arbitrator, who will be available to hear any differences arising during the process. The initial Joint Pay Equity Study shall be completed within 12 months of the appointment of the pay equity consultants. Any disagreements that cannot be resolved during the process will be forwarded to the arbitrator, who will render a decision that will be binding on both parties.
The pay equity consultants will present their findings to the Joint Pay Equity Committee no later than 12 months after their appointment. The parties (CUPW and CPC) will have 90 days to negotiate adjustments to the collective agreement, pursuant to clause 34.02. If the parties are unable to successfully negotiate any adjustment, the matter will be referred to the arbitrator, who will have 90 days to hear the matter and render a decision. This decision will be binding on the Union, the Corporation and all affected employees. In the event that a wage gap is identified, all payments shall be retroactive to January 1, 2016. This process will fully and finally resolve the RSMC pay equity issue.
Traditionally, pay equity complaints against Canada Post have taken decades to resolve. PSAC filed a complaint in 1983 that took 30 years to resolve. CPAA filed a pay equity complaint in 1993 that has still not been resolved. The process negotiated in the memorandum of understanding will be completed 19 months from today. This may seem like a long time, but not when you compare this to the experiences of PSAC and CPAA. There is much detailed work and comparisons that must be done. Even though we are not dealing with a formal complaint under the Canadian Human Rights Act, our process must comply with the provisions of this Act and the Equal Wage Guidelines. Our process will provide closure to the pay equity issue within a specified period of time and avoid decades of arguments in the courts. This process could become the model for all future pay equity complaints in Canada.