We have taken a strong stand against two-tier wages, benefits and pensions throughout our history. CUPW has stood strong on this issue and we will continue to do so. The current wage structure in the Urban Ops collective agreement may not meet the definition of two-tier because all employees will eventually reach the same maximum rate but it is not a fair system. This wage structure has one group of employees with a starting rate that is over $5.00 per hour lower than the other employees that they work alongside. It also takes these employees 7 years to reach the maximum rate, once they become regular employees while their co-workers reach the maximum in 5 years. CPC and the previous government forced this unfair wage system on us during the last round of negotiations and now is the time to correct this injustice.
The most obvious inequity that currently exists within CPC is the huge discrepancy in pay and benefits between the RSMC and Urban bargaining units. This is the round where this must be corrected. RSMC and Urban work side by side and perform essentially the same work and yet RSMCs receive wages that are substantially lower and they receive less vacation and reduced paramedical services.
CPC has brought forward many two-tier proposals during this round of bargaining. In their global offers from June 25, 2016 they included the following two-tier proposals:
If you are currently an On Call Relief Employee or a Temporary employee then the impact is obvious. When you achieve a regular position you will get a very inferior defined contribution pension plan. For temporary employees, you will also receive less vacation leave and no pre-retirement leave.
If you are currently a regular employee (part-time, full-time, RSMC route holder or permanent relief employee) then the impact of these two-tier proposals may not be so obvious. These changes may not impact you this round but what about the next round of negotiations? What will CPC come after then? Once we open the door for two-tier pensions and benefits then they will keep coming for more. Remember that CPC’s original proposal for our pensions was to have all new regular employees and all future service for current plan members converted to a defined contribution plan and eliminate the seventh (7th) week of vacation and pre-retirement leave for all current regular employees. This could still be put back on the table and if not this round then it will be there during the next round.
These two-tier proposals impact each and every one of us and we must all stand up and say no to any two-tier system.
On the weekend we made some progress toward resolving the long dispute over access to information for letter carrier routes. There are still major issues to be resolved and language to be reviewed but it was a step in the right direction.
Today, we continued to work on the access to information issue. We also reviewed timelines and what needs to happen this week.
Continue with work floor actions and activities. The more that happens out in the locals the more that CPC realizes that we are strong and determined. Tell your local management that we deserve good working conditions, benefits, wages and the same defined benefit pension plan for all postal workers. Be loud and be proud to be a postal worker.