On April 29, 2019 Arbitrator Elizabeth McPherson wrote to the Minister of Labour Patti Hajdu, requesting an extension of her appointment until December 31, 2019.
Early in her mandate, the arbitrator ruled on how the parties were going to proceed in arbitration. The Union must present all their evidence on all the matters in dispute. This evidence includes witnesses from the work floor and taking the arbitrator to a Letter Carrier/RSMC depot. Once the Union is finished presenting our evidence, Canada Post will present their case. We have the final word in reply and then both parties will have to present an argument on each issue.
There have been 13 hearing dates so far and there are an additional 22 confirmed hearing dates. The last scheduled date is October 30, 2019. This does not necessarily mean that we will use all of the dates. We hope to complete our evidence by the first week of July. Then Canada Post will begin its evidence, but we do not know how many hearing days Canada Post will require to present its case. The final step will be for the arbitrator to write her decision which will have to be translated before it is released.
The arbitration is taking longer than expected by the legislation and no one is trying to delay the proceedings. But as the issues are extremely important to the members such as, the two bundle, pay for all hours worked and group 1 staffing, to name a few, it is vital that we put forward the best evidence possible, even if it takes longer than expected.
On day thirteen we started to present our evidence on the short term disability plan (STDP). There was evidence presented by committee member Sister Cathy Kennedy. The arbitration will continue on May 27 with expert testimony on the ergonomic concerns about the two bundle delivery method as well as more evidence on much needed improvements to the STDP.
We Want Negotiated Collective Agreements!!