OTTAWA–The longest-running pay equity dispute at Canada Post has at last come to an end.

The Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association (CPAA), with a membership of over 8,000 working at rural post offices first filed a pay equity complaint in 1992, twenty-seven years ago. It was a complicated case that involved numerous delays and stalling.

However, on the brink of hearings, after several weekend-long mediation sessions, the CPAA and Canada Post Corporation managed to reach an agreement, which has now been ratified by the Human Rights Commission.

“Ninety-five percent of Postmasters and Assistants are women and we signed this deal on Mother’s Day, which means a lot to me,” said Brenda McAuley, CPAA’s national president.

“Many of our members said they never thought they would live to see the end of this dispute. But sadly, the settlement amount in some cases will have to be paid out to our members’ estates.”

Canada Post has been through several prolonged pay equity disputes with various units of its employees, including another court battle with female clerks that lasted for 25 years and cost millions.

“If we calculated what twenty-seven years of paying to fight us in the courts cost our employer, we might find it would have been cheaper for them to just do the right thing in the first place,” McAuley pointed out.

The Human Rights Tribunal has ruled that the period for the pay equity settlement would be only five years, from 1992 to 1997, because after that, the pay inequities between the groups had evened out.

“Not all our members will be eligible for that period of coverage, but it’s still good to see some justice at last,” said McAuley.

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