The CUPW agrees with the Supreme Court of Canada that collective bargaining is a fundamental right and the best way for workers to participate in the process to determine their wages, benefits, and working conditions. All of the gains we have accomplished have been through collective bargaining. Our experience with arbitration is that it is a costly and long process, often taking several years, where we have concessions imposed upon us by government- appointed arbitrators that do not have to live with the consequences of their decision.
CPC hopes a government-appointed arbitrator will award them concessions they could never achieve through bargaining. Management has said that they reserve the right to withdraw their global offer in its entirety and revert to their initial bargaining position.
Here is what was in their initial bargaining position:
Wage Rate: Urban: 3% over four years. $0.50 for most employees in Groups 3 and 4. RSMCs: no hourly wage rate.
Job Security: RSMCs: no job security. Urban: increasing the qualifying period to 10 years and protection to province-wide.
Householders: RSMCs: no increase in payments, no change at all. Urban: some prep time allowance for householders but no time value for delivery plus larger dimensions and increased weights.
Post-Retirement Benefits: Urban: For current employees increasing the retiree share of the premiums from 35% up to 80%. RSMCs: No post-retirement benefits.
Parcels: RSMCs: Per-piece payment non pensionable. Increased payments for delivery of more than 135 scannable pieces per week. Urban: Expand delivery into mornings, evenings and weekends using only temporary employees.
Groups 3 and 4: Work 12 hour shifts with everyone working every weekend.
Pensions: Urban and RSMCs current and future employees: Stop defined benefit pension and move to defined contribution pension for future service.
Group 1 Staffing: Reduce full-time ratio, increase part-time at wickets and have right to close all 493 retail counters.
RSMCs: No requirement to build 8-hour routes, no guarantee of hours, not all hours pensionable, not paid for all hours worked, no wage rate.
Working Time: Urban: Eliminate paid meal period, wash-up time, 7th week of vacation and pre-retirement leave. RSMCs: No paid meal period, no breaks, no wash up time. No change.
This round of bargaining is about our future. In 2011-2012 we lost our right to freely negotiate based on legislation that has now been ruled as unconstitutional. This impacted both the RSMC and urban negotiations. In 2016, we once again have the right to freely negotiate our collective agreements and it is time to stand strong and be united. We must send a message to CPC that we are bargaining based on our demands and that we will fight for our future and for all future postal workers. We will not be bullied into accepting something less than we deserve for either the RSMC or the urban bargaining unit.