OTTAWA, July 8, 2016 /CNW/ – Postal workers are proposing a 30-day cooling off period to Canada Post management to address concerns about “uncertainty” in the mail system and give negotiations a chance to succeed.
“Our members, their families and all Canadians do not deserve to have this threat of a lockout ‘looming’ over our heads from a profitable public service. Postal workers want to work and people need to know that it’s safe to use the mail system,” said Mike Palecek, national president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. Continue reading →
The Canadian Union of Postal workers issued the following statement:
The Canada Labour Code provides that the parties have a duty to make every reasonable effort to negotiate a collective agreement and must bargain in good faith. Furthermore, employers are prohibited from interfering in the affairs of a Union. Today, CUPW filed a formal complaint to the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) that Canada Post management has failed to negotiate in good faith and is interfering with the Union’s right to represent its members.
The complaint covers both the Urban and RSMC bargaining units. It describes in detail the refusal of CPC to engage in any meaningful discussions or negotiations regarding the RSMC unit. With respect to both the Urban and RSMC units, CPC has refused to negotiate on their global offers which were submitted one week prior to the parties obtaining the right to strike or lock-out. CPC has also circumvented the bargaining process by negotiating through the media. An example is they claim our proposals will cost $1 Billion, which they repeatedly make to the media but refuse the Union’s repeated requests to justify their numbers.
Instead of bargaining, the employer has simply tabled offers that it knew would be totally unacceptable to the Union. Finally, management representatives have been communicating directly with Union members, making threats and spreading disinformation.
Once both parties have made all of their submissions, the CIRB will determine its procedure. We have asked that the complaint be heard immediately.
As we previously reported, we met with CPC on July 4th, where they provided us with a written rejection of our global offer. Today, we met with CPC, in the presence of the mediators, to discuss several issues. Although we cannot report any major progress, we remain committed to the negotiations process.
We will continue to report developments as they occur.
Canada Post issued the following statement last night:
On Wednesday, July 6, 2016, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, MaryAnn Mihychuk, asked both Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW-Urban and CUPW-RSMC) to submit to binding arbitration to resolve the current impasse at negotiations. Canada Post agreed to voluntarily submit to binding arbitration as an opportunity for both parties to reach an acceptable resolution.
While negotiated settlements are always the preferred option, it has become clear that after seven months of negotiations, the parties remain far apart on key issues at the bargaining table. The uncertainty caused by the prolonged negotiations is having a severe impact on the business, our employees and our customers.
It is our hope that CUPW will consider submitting to binding arbitration to end the uncertainty. Canada Post is extending the current 72-hour notice period to Monday at 12:01 am to provide time for the union to consider this option. A quick resolution is in the best interest of our employees, our customers and the long-term future of the postal system.
OTTAWA, July 5, 2016 /CNW/ – Canada Post has just served notice on fifty thousand Canadian workers that it plans to drive them out onto the streets without pay in an effort to impose steep concessions on them.
“We knew this was their game all along. They are sabotaging the public review of the post office. They refused to negotiate fairly with us and now they ‘re locking the doors and will try to starve us into submission,” said Mike Palecek, president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.
The union has been attempting to negotiate pay equity for its female-dominated workforce of rural carriers and stave off the profitable Crown Corporation’s demands for massive rollbacks. Canada Post has tabled just one offer since negotiations began and is now shutting down Canadians’ postal service across the country.
“This is brought to you by the people who wanted to take away home delivery,” said Palecek.
“They wanted us to sell out the next generation of Canadian postal workers for a quick deal, but we stood firm. Now they’re going to hold the public hostage until they get what they want.”
Canada Post locked postal workers out in 2011 until the Conservatives forced them back to work with legislation that has since been ruled unconstitutional. It remains to be seen what the Liberal government will do about this situation and rogue Canada Post CEODeepak Chopra, who refused a Liberal request to resign.
“We will not be bullied by a corporation that is supposed to be providing people with public service, that is raking in millions in profits every year, and that is willfully and needlessly waging war upon tens of thousands of workers and their families,” said Palecek.
The CUPW will hold a media conference today at 10 am EST at 377 Bank Street, Ottawa.
Canada Post extremely disappointed with CUPW’s response to its offers
Dear Canada Post customer,
I am writing to update you on our negotiations and advise you that there can be no legal work disruption before the expiry of a 72-hour notice, and one has yet to be filed.
On Saturday, June 25, 2016, we tabled offers in our separate negotiations with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW-Urban and CUPW-RSMC), which represent our delivery agents and plant employees. Our offers were designed to help bring a quick resolution to the negotiations and end the uncertainty that is negatively impacting our customers and our employees. Our offers included modest and manageable wage increases for all employees and no changes to the pension for all employees in the plan.
As you can read in our public statement, we are extremely disappointed with the response from CUPW. LateFriday evening, CUPW tabled offers that would add at least $1 billion in new costs over the term of a new collective agreement while rejecting the Corporation’s approach to address the long-term issues with the employee pension plan.
Rather than saddle customers with more than $1 billion in new costs, Canada Post continues to remain at the table to negotiate an agreement that is reasonable and affordable. In the event of a full disruption, Canada Post will not operate, deliver or accept new items. We will keep you updated on our progress.
Canada Post Corporation
VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Canadians will likely remain loyal to Canada Post in the short term, but drawn-out service disruptions and an increasing digital age may be another hefty straw on the mail camel’s back, says one market analyst as a strike or lockout continues to loom.
Canada Post’s efforts to paint itself as a stable Canadian employer have contributed to its ongoing success, says Steve Kates, an associate market professor with SFU’s Beedie School of Business. But the honeymoon won’t last forever if a service disruption lingers too long.
On Friday we presented CPC with our Global Offers for both the urban and RSMC collective agreements. As a result, we will not be servicing our 72-hour notice. Therefore, there will be no industrial action prior to July 6th.
The “problems” facing Canada Post are entirely ideological.
Canada’s politicians and media have bought into a long-term project driven by right-wing notions of society and the economy that seeks to re-frame public services as “businesses” that should be run “efficiently” along the lines allegedly followed by the private sector.
While the mythology of the private sector’s supposed efficiency is nothing more than that, mythology, that is a matter for a different article.
CPC spokespeople are always talking about the deficit in the Canada Post Pension Plan. But they never mention that the plan also has a huge surplus. And while the surplus is growing, the deficit is decreasing.
The Facts CPC Never Mentions
Here are some of the facts you will find in the 2015 Canada Post Pension Plan Report to Members:
In 2015 the going concern surplus increased to $1.2 Billion from $500 million.
(See page 2 of the Report.)
The actual pension surplus for 2015 was $2.7 Billion. (page 18)
The solvency deficit was reduced from $6.8 Billion to $6.1 Billion. (page 17)
The solvency deficit (market value) was reduced from $6.8 Billion to $5.9 Billion.
Solvency only triggered by Plan Termination
The solvency deficit only comes into play if a pension plan is terminated. Since the federal government has ruled out privatization from the mandate of the Review Committee, there is no reason to believe the plan will be terminated. Solvency deficits are caused by low long term interest rates. Should (or when) interest rates go up by only 1%, the solvency issue will disappear entirely (see page 20).
This is why CUPW and all of the other postal unions do not believe there is any reason to change the pension plan especially given that it is running a $2.7 Billion surplus.
CPC Recognizes a Pension Plan is important – for some.
In their pamphlet attempting to sell their global offer, CPC said the following to regular Urban and RSMCs who are covered by the defined benefit pension plan: “We understand the importance of your pension. We get that it brings you peace of mind.” Yet, their proposal calls for all temporary employees and OCREs to be excluded from the pension and only receive a low value defined contribution plan. So much for caring about the peace of mind of thousands of their employees.
We demand that all employees be eligible for the defined benefit pension plan.
We all deserve “Peace of Mind”
To see the 2015 Canada Post Pension Plan Report to Members go to:
Global News reports that Canada Post has declined to agree to the two week extension of contract talks requested by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. The network quotes a spokesperson as saying that the company had tabled “fair” offers on Saturday, and had yet to receive a formal reply:
Given that, and the fact that any further delay will only add to the uncertainty for our customers and our employees, we cannot agree to further delays.
The earliest date a legal work stoppage could begin is Saturday, July 2.