In Ontario, there is a mandatory government order to close non-essential businesses due to COVID-19. Despite this order, we wanted to ensure that the arbitration hearing continued, so we worked with the Arbitrator, CPC and our IT department to find a way to proceed. This process has been going on for a very long time and we are very close to the end.
We were able to establish a secure way to proceed with the arbitration using video conferencing software. Despite some modifications necessary, to allow the hearing to run efficiently, we were able to respect the law, maintain physical distancing and successfully present our reply evidence.
We started our evidence with testimony from Sylvain Lapointe on changes we made in some of our proposals to address issues raised during the interest arbitration. We made these changes to show the Arbitrator that we are being reasonable and were listening to the evidence presented to her.
Cathy Kennedy testified regarding Leah Lewis’ testimony on the STDP. Cathy also testified about changes Canada Post made to the Appendix “A” wage charts in the Urban Agreement that would eliminate many Group 3 and 4 classifications. Cathy confirmed that we had never agreed to this change.
On March 27, CPC will cross examine Sylvain Lapointe and Cathy Kennedy. We agreed to complete our evidence in chief for both witnesses prior to the cross examination to keep the process moving. CPC then has an opportunity to respond to the reply evidence we presented. Once that is done both parties will submit written argument to the Arbitrator by April 30, depending on the length of CPC’s reply evidence. Then there will be an opportunity to present final oral arguments on May 6 and 7. The final step is for Arbitrator MacPherson to write her decision.