By email and mail
Chief Negotiator – RSMC Unit
Canada Post Corporation
2841 Riverside Drive, suite N0060
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0B1
Subject: Negotiations for the RSMC unit
This is in response to your letter of July 4, 2016.
In your letter, you conveyed your interpretation of the Corporation’s June 25, 2016 global offer by highlighting what you believed to be the offer’s greatest merits.
You also roundly criticized the union’s global offer submitted on July 1st, 2016 and even went as far as condemning its timing. In a rather condescending manner, you also took the liberty of calling this offer disappointing.
However, while you blithely dispense your criticism to the Union, you fail to mention that negotiations have, until now, focussed mainly on the Corporation’s concerns and that very few issues of importance to the Union have been seriously discussed.
Indeed, RSMC unit members have been subjected to gender-based discrimination for a long time. Almost 70% of this group are women, while nearly 70% of urban letter carriers are men.
RSMCs’ working conditions are clearly inferior to the ones of urban unit members who perform the same work.
Therefore, the Union has put forward demands that are important for its members. For instance, through the introduction of an hourly wage rate, the Union aims to resolve the inequity RSMCs have been subjected to. They must also be paid for all the hours worked and, when applicable, be paid at the overtime rate.
Also, the Union has requested, as a gesture of good faith, that the Corporation stop restructuring routes on a basis of six and one half (6.5) scheduled hours per day and build routes to eight (8) scheduled hours per day. These members, who are already underpaid, suffer a further reduction of their compensation.
By doing that, the Corporation’s offer, which falsely claims to considerably increase these members’ compensation, excludes a substantial portion of their compensation from the pension plan. By so doing, the Corporation is trying to extend the precariousness of their situation beyond their working life.
The Union is trying to find a sustainable and fair solution to this shameful situation. To this day, the Corporation brags that the RSMCs’ working conditions represent a “competitive advantage”, hence its desire to keep them in such a precarious situation. Such a situation must stop.
Although willing to play a role in the Corporation’s continued success, the Union wants its members to be treated fairly.
We also use this opportunity to address an issue raised in Mr. Mark MacDonell’s communication, which you handed to us on July 3rd, 2016 regarding changes to conditions of employment. Among other things, this communication states that the Corporation, after the filing of a 72-hour notice under the Code, intends to terminate the STDP. Together with the communication provided for the Urban Unit, this suggests that the Corporation would put an end to paid benefits or would refuse to pay benefits to employees whose disability has started before the 72-hour notice.
However, STDP benefits related to a disability that occurred before the filing of the notice must be considered as vested rights. Not only would such an action be seen as an illegal attack on the most vulnerable, which would undermine the Corporation’s image, but ending the payment of these employees’ STDP benefits would be vigorously challenged in court, using all useful means, by the Union.
Finally, we note that in its July 3rd communication, the Corporation stated that a work stoppage would hurt customers, employees and the company.
Also, until yesterday, the Corporation was saying that its June 25 global offer was to serve as the basis of a settlement.
But during the day yesterday, this message changed. The Corporation did an about-face and announced that its June 25 global offer was now a final offer. It also served a 72-hour lock-out notice to the Union, which it intends to act upon on July 8, even if, by its own admission, this would hurt the company.
This double-speak is not reassuring and raises many serious questions regarding the Corporation’s real willingness to reach a negotiated settlement. The Union has no intention of changing its message. It remains committed to the negotiated resolution of the dispute, as it has been since November 20, 2015.
The Union is ready, as it has always been, to keep negotiating. Our goal is to reach a negotiated settlement acceptable to both parties. We ask the Corporation to do the same.
c.c. : Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
Judy Foote, Minister of public services and Procurement
MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
Karine Trudel, MP – New Democratic Party
Steven Blaney, MP – Conservative Party of Canada
Simon Marcil, député – Bloc Québécois
Guy Baron, Director General, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Sheri L. King, Mediator
Audrey-Mélissa Therrien, Mediator
National Executive Board
Negotiation Committee Members, CUPW
/jl sepb 225 / mp cupe 1979