By email and mail
Chief Negotiator – Urban Unit
Canada Post Corporation
2841 Riverside Drive, suite N0060
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0B1
Subject: Negotiations for the Urban 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, you failed to mention the agreements reached in response to numerous concerns raised by the Corporation regarding its future development, particularly in terms of the expansion of its operations in the parcel and unaddressed admail markets. Yet, these agreements prove beyond any doubt the Union’s commitment towards the Corporation’s sustainability.
We have a hard time understanding how you can overlook the fact that the Union has agreed to one of the Corporation’s major demands, by its own admission, regarding the use of GPS devices. The Corporation argued that this technology would allow for better real-time tracking of parcels and provide a competitive advantage. The Union worked with the Corporation and agreed to the use of this technology, demonstrating its openness and its willingness to take part in the expansion of the Canadian postal service.
Your letter also fails to mention the major agreement reached by the parties, conditional to a global settlement, regarding householder delivery standards. Focussing on the Corporation’s business development that could occur as a result, the Union agreed to a reconsideration of well-established work methods.
Moreover, even as the collective agreement already contains a parcel delivery structure, the Union expressed its willingness to agree, in principle, to a flexible structure that would allow the Corporation to deliver parcels on mornings, evenings and weekends.
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. We will limit ourselves to a few examples.
Although willing to play a role in the Corporation’s continuous success the Union asks that the Corporation adequately recognizes the contribution of its employees to this very success. Therefore, the protection of Group 1 staffing and the creation of permanent positions have been central to the Union’s concerns. So far, the Corporation doesn’t appear to have heard these concerns. Similarly, the Union wants to preserve its members’ job security and quality of life. But the Corporation doesn’t seem to care.
The Corporation also ignores the fact that in 2011, Bill C-6 forced on our members wage increases inferior to the ones the Corporation was ready to grant them. This legislation has been invalidated and the Union believes the harm it has done to its members must be repaired. The Union’s wage proposal takes this into account. It also takes into account the increase in the cost of living, contrary to the Corporation’s offer, which proposes to impoverish employees while it makes profits.
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 end the payment of benefits to employees whose STDP claims have been approved.
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 stopping 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 / gl cupe 1979