OTTAWA – Canada Post has notified the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) that it will be changing the terms and conditions of employment for all employees represented by the union starting Friday, July 8, 2016. The uncertainty caused by the prolonged negotiations and the union’s strike mandate is having a negative and escalating impact on the postal service.
Customers are already looking to avoid the risk of a work disruption. Examples of the impact are being felt across the network:
- Nearly all of our largest e-commerce customers have already moved most or all of their parcel volumes to other carriers, resulting in a volume decline of at least 75 per cent from these customers.
- The number of parcels arriving at our largest plants via transport trucks has declined to the point where there often are not enough parcels to last an entire processing shift.
- Lettermail is down in many facilities by as much as 50 per cent and over the weekend, commercial customers deposited half the mail they usually deposit.
The Corporation must now respond to the rapidly deteriorating volumes and the financial impact to the business, using the means provided in the Canada Labour Code.
As of Friday, July 8, 2016, the terms and conditions of the current collective agreements will no longer apply. Under the new terms and conditions, employees will continue to receive their regular pay and some benefits such as applicable prescription drug coverage. Other items will be cancelled in line with the statutory minimum conditions established under the Canada Labour Code. The Corporation will also have the flexibility to adjust staffing according to the amount of work required.
In order to take this step, Canada Post has followed the procedural requirements and issued a 72-hour notice to the union. The issuing of the notice does not necessarily mean that Canada Post will not be operating on Friday. It allows the Corporation to take measures that are necessary to respond to the changing business reality.
On July 4, 2016, Canada Post informed CUPW that the offers the Corporation presented on June 25, 2016 are considered final, as they represent a fair and reasonable framework for settlements. The company also informed CUPW that the union’s more than $1 billion in demands were unaffordable and therefore rejected.
Background – Negotiations timeline
November 20, 2015 – The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) officially served Canada Post with Notice to Bargain for both the urban operations unit and the RSMC unit. Talks began between both parties shortly after the official notice and have been ongoing since last year.
December 31, 2015 – The collective agreement between Canada Post and CUPW-RSMC expired. The terms and conditions have continued to apply.
January 31, 2016 – The collective agreement with CUPW-Urban expired. The terms and conditions have continued to apply.
April 4, 2016 – Canada Post filed a request with the federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour to appoint conciliators to help stimulate constructive discussion at the separate bargaining tables. The process for requesting conciliation assistance is established by the Canada Labour Code.
April 11, 2016 – The federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour appointed conciliation officers to help in separate negotiations with CUPW.
June 10, 2016 – The 60-day conciliation period officially ended, and a 21-day “cooling-off period” began. Talks continued.
June 25, 2016 – Canada Post presented CUPW with offers designed to bring a quick resolution to the negotiations. The offers included a different pension plan for new hires to address long-term issues with the plan and increases in pay for all employees.
July 1, 2016 – CUPW responded to the Corporation’s offer by rejecting any changes to the pension and adding demands that would cost more than $1 billion over the term of a new agreement. The “cooling-off” period also expired.
July 4, 2016 – Canada Post informed CUPW that the offers the Corporation presented on Saturday, June 25, 2016 are considered final, as they represent a fair and reasonable framework for settlements.