Now that the Liberal Government has imposed back to work legislation, your negotiating committee must prepare for the mediation process. Your negotiating committee is determined to obtain agreements prior to the binding arbitration process, but only if the issues relating to your health and safety, over-burdening, equality for all postal workers, fair wage increases that keep up with inflation, staffing and improving your work-life balance are achieved.
The Minister of Labour should appoint a mediator-arbitrator shortly. Once this happens a date will be set to start the seven day mediation process. If progress is being made and both parties agree, this could be extended for up to another seven days. If there is no agreement at the end of mediation, then the unresolved issues will go to an arbitration process. We did not want to end up in this process, but we will not accept agreements that do not address our key issues just to avoid this. The legislation allows the parties to reach negotiated agreements at any time prior to the mediator-arbitrator reports to the Minister. This is our goal.
The back to work legislation means the expired collective agreements are once again in full force and effect. All provisions are reinstated. We did not want to go through yet another peak/Christmas period without improvements to the working conditions. The reason this is happening is because Canada Post sat back and waited, refusing to address our concerns. We could have had new agreements months ago, which would have improved working conditions prior to this busy season, if Canada Post had negotiated in good faith.