This is a critical stage in our bargaining process.
As in the past, we will do everything possible to achieve an agreement without a strike. Over the decades, we've seen time and again that when bargaining is tough, the only thing that gets Canada Post Corporation (CPC) moving is a powerful strike mandate – it's where our bargaining power really comes from.
Still, if we have not reached agreements by September 26, 2018, we will have to be ready for some type of job action. In striking down the back-to-work legislation of 2012, Justice Firestone found that our right to strike is protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Therefore, management will have to negotiate. This time, they can't sit back and wait for back-to-work legislation to impose their rollbacks.
This round of negotiations is both difficult and complex. We have to address issues arising from the changing nature of our work, including the continuing explosion of parcel volumes.
We also have outstanding issues from previous bargaining rounds. In 2012, the Harper government's unconstitutional back-to-work legislation forced CUPW to take concessions in order to save our pension and avoid an arbitration which could have gutted the Urban collective agreement.
In 2016, we accepted stopgap mediated agreements that left many of our issues unresolved, knowing that it all would be back on the table this time. This is the year to address it all, to solve some workplace problems and make serious gains.
We are thinking ahead: as letter volumes decline we need growth in other services and new work at Canada Post. Other postal administrations are expanding their postal banks, delivering groceries and introducing new services for seniors. We are determined to see Canada Post follow their examples and innovate.
We recognize that both Canada Post and CUPW have responsibilities to work together to reduce our environmental impact. We have put forward a bold vision: Delivering Community Power. Our vision will expand services for everyone and generate more revenue while also creating new jobs. It's interconnected: our environment demand supports the Delivering Community Power campaign, and the campaign's massive public support will help us in bargaining. Tell your friends and family about it and help build our power.
A strong strike mandate will also show CPC's interim CEO Jessica McDonald that we need action at the bargaining table, not just promises in press releases and letters to employees.
We have heard lots of talk about a new mandate. But we are still dealing with management determined to maintain the rollbacks that they extorted from the urban workers in 2012. They still refuse to address important issues of work/life balance and health and safety. They still refuse to address some basic issues for RSMCs. Even on access to the information necessary to enforce the collective agreement, management has continually placed obstacles, stopping an agreement on what should be considered a basic union right.
For RSMCs, the day for true equality is drawing near. Equity in terms of wages and benefits is being addressed in the separate pay equity process which is currently being overseen by Mediator/Arbitrator Flynn. But some very important issues such as the right to be paid for all hours worked, job security, and guaranteed minimum hours are not covered by the pay equity process – we must negotiate these. Sadly, management has said they have no interest in providing equality, just equity. A very strong strike vote is what it will take to get them to change their position and enter the 21st century.
There are many ways to support your Negotiating Committee between now and September 26, 2018. Be creative, vocal, and positive!
Together, we can achieve so much.
The National Executive Board (NEB) unanimously recommends to the membership of the Urban Operations Unit to vote YES to authorize the NEB to initiate strike action if necessary to obtain a satisfactory collective agreement that meets the needs of the membership.
The National Executive Board (NEB) unanimously recommends to the membership of the RSMC Unit to vote YES to authorize the NEB to initiate strike action if necessary to obtain a satisfactory collective agreement that meets the needs of the membership.
Your National Executive Board and National Negotiating Committee need you to give the union a strong mandate. Your support is our bargaining power. Vote YES to force the employer to quit stalling and negotiate a contract with: