Arbitration 2019 - Updates
Arbitration Update January 2020
January 22 2020
The first two days of hearings, in front of Arbitrator MacPherson, are now complete. Much of the time was spent clarifying the “matters” that are still in dispute and will be argued during the arbitration. After hearing the submissions from the CUPW and Canada Post counsels, the arbitrator made her ruling on the matters that are in dispute. The parties agreed that a traditional interest arbitration was the preferred method and the arbitrator agreed. The case will continue as an interest arbitration with witnesses and evidence. There will be no final offer selection. There were other submissions made by the parties related to process and the arbitrator will issue her decision on these process issues on January 28, 2019. The next hearing dates will be on February 12, 19 and 21, 2019. This is when the parties will start to present their evidence on the various matters in dispute, some of which are very complex. The Corporation is making this process more difficult by refusing to provide the details of its position on the matters in dispute, until the last possible moment, in spite of continuously saying that they do not want an adversarial process.
United we Stand as Arbitration Continues
Thursday August 29 2019
We know this arbitration process has been long and that the end doesn’t seem
near, but as the members will have to live with the changes to the
collective agreements for many years it is important for CUPW negotiators
to thoroughly present all our evidence. They have interviewed countless witnesses
to ensure the arbitrator is equipped with all of the facts. Canada Post is now presenting
their case. When they have finished, our negotiators will have the opportunity to provide
rebuttal evidence against all of Canada Post’s testimony and evidence.
The work your negotiators have done is not limited to the days spent at the bargaining
table or in arbitration hearings. Your negotiating committees have spent days, weeks
and months putting together the strongest case possible for arbitration.
We know you’re frustrated. We’re frustrated too. We all would have preferred a negotiated agreement through free collective bargaining. It is our right and we continue to ask Canada Post to meet us at the bargaining table as our negotiators truly believe they can come to an agreement.
Despite these frustrations, I am proud of all of our members for continuing to provide customers with the best and most professional services. Canadians love their public postal system because of you and the work you do does not go unnoticed.
In the meantime, we will not be quiet. We will push our issues during the federal election campaign and work together across the country to make sure worker-friendly candidates are elected.
We need new contracts. We need better health and safety measures. We need to be fairly compensated for the work we do. We need the Corporation to stop relying on overtime to meet delivery times. We need a government that will invest in the future of Canada Post and the future of its workers.
Our negotiators are doing their part in arbitration. Let’s do ours on the campaign trail.
Thursday June 13 2019
On Day 15, Toni MacAfee – Atlantic Regional Education and Organization Officer testified about negative, non-medical comments that Canada Post management was telling Great-West Life/Morneau Shepell Case Managers to enter in employees’ STDP files. After that, Geoff Bickerton – Director of Research testified on the history of Group 1 staffing and how we have fought for many years to maximize full-time employment and how important this issue is to us.
On Day 16, Nicolas Presne – National Union Representative, Staffing and François Senneville – National Director for the Quebec Region and a Member of the negotiating committee testified on the issues about Group 1 staffing (internal workers). Nicolas explained what information we currently receive and why we need to get better access to information. François testified on our proposals to improve the language in clause 39.06 to include temporary hours and access to information. Our proposals would allow us to convert part-time and temporary hours to full-time positions in the locations where these hours are worked.
Our Remaining Issues…
Our evidence is nearing completion and then Canada Post will present its evidence. The next hearing dates are June 26, 27 and July 4, 5. We will be presenting our evidence on proposed changes for injury on duty pay (WCB), job security and contracting out for both units, maintaining pay equity and our wage and cost of living demands.
Negotiated Agreements = Improved Relationship
If Canada Post is really serious about improving the relationship with the union, then they need to come back to the table with a mandate to negotiate fair collective agreements for both Urban and RSMC units. A better relationship will not be achieved by sitting back and having the Arbitrator draft two new collective agreements.
Arbitration Update (Issues in Dispute)
Thursday May 30 2019
Arbitration Issues So Far
We’ve been participating in the arbitration process set down by Bill C-89, the back-to-work legislation that passed last November. Although we believe the law is unconstitutional and violates our charter rights, we will abide by it while we challenge it in the courts.
That’s why you’re currently working under the terms of the expired contracts, and that’s why we are in this arbitration process.
The negotiating committee is working hard on presenting evidence to the arbitrator on the issues that were on the bargaining table, and bringing in witnesses who can explain to her the actual work process, issues and the impact on their lives.
Here’s a round-up of the issues that we’ve addressed in arbitration so far, for both bargaining units.
Arbitrator’s Mandate Extended ( & Day 13)
Wednesday May 22 2019
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!!
Arbitration Continues - Days 10, 11 & 12
Friday May 10 2019
We have now completed 12 days of hearings on our collective agreement(s) arbitration.
The tenth day of the arbitration consisted of the expert testimony from Dr. Richard Shillington on the percentage of coverage for letter carrier routes. Some of the key issues about this formula are:
It is based on data that is over 30 years old
Mail volumes have changed dramatically which impacts the calculation of percentage of coverage
The eleventh day of the arbitration began with testimony from Sister Aimee Stewart, an RSMC from Marmora, ON. Sister Stewart testified on the difficulties of finding her own replacement. She also mentioned that in addition to this inconvenience, RSMCs must train their replacement and cover all the costs of this training, without even knowing if the replacement will be available when needed or will stay on after the training.
Day 11 finished with the testimony of Barb McMillan, a RSMC and a member of the negotiating committee. Sister McMillan testified about RSMC compensation, route restructures, maximizing the number of routes at 8 hours, and post-retirement benefits.
This day began with the cross-examination of Sister McMillan. We then continued with evidence from Brother Brahm Enslin a RSMC from Saskatoon, SK. Brother Enslin testified about working more than his Schedule A hours almost every day and the fact that he does not get paid for this extra work.
We finished day 12 with testimony from Sister Nancy Beauchamp, a RSMC and Chief Negotiator for the RSMC unit. Sister Beauchamp testified about pay for all hours worked, including overtime, pension on extra hours, up to 8 hours per day and coverage of all absences.
Arbitration Day 9
Tuesday April 16 2019
We began this hearing with the continued testimony of Geoff Bickerton on the history of RSMC negotiations. The hearing continued with committee member, Cathy Kennedy testifying about the pay equity process and Arbitrator Maureen Flynn’s decisions on pay equity.
The evidence on some of the RSMC issues will continue on April 23 along with expert testimony from Richard Shillington on the percentage of coverage formula for letter carrier routes.
The arbitration will continue on May 6 and 7with more evidence on RSMC issues.
Continue Your Actions
In the last bulletin we asked you to send messages to Canada Post’s new President and CEO Doug Ettinger to give direction to the Canada Post negotiators to get back to the table and negotiate. Send letters, make phone calls, send emails and be heard. Please continue and also copy your Member of Parliament with these messages.
We Want Negotiated Collective Agreements!
Chief Negotiator, RSMC bargaining unit
Chief Negotiator, Urban Unit
Arbitration Day 8
Thursday April 4 2019
Day 8 of the arbitration started with the cross examination of letter carrier and negotiating committee member, Stephen Gale. The next witness was Roland Dandy, a letter carrier from Hamilton, ON. Roland testified about having to work overtime on his route almost every day. He attributed this to heavy volumes of parcels and the preparation and delivery of neighbourhood mail. There will be testimony from two experts on one bundle delivery and percentage of coverage. Roland was followed by Director of Research and member of the negotiating committee, Geoff Bickerton who testified on the history of the RSMC organizing, the first collective agreement and the three reopeners.
Latest Arbitration News: Day 7
Friday March 22 2019
On March 19, the day started out with a visit to the Kanata Depot with Arbitrator MacPherson. The purpose of the visit was to show not only the work environment of Letter Carriers, RSMC’s and PO4’s, but to also to allow the Arbitrator to see an actual facility with all the mail products and how it is processed for delivery.
Friday March 15 2019
Day six of the arbitration for our collective agreements has now been completed. On March 14, 2019 we continued to present our evidence on issues related to letter carrier delivery and over burdening. Cari-Anne Gordon, a letter carrier from Saskatoon was cross-examined by Canada Post’s counsel regarding the video footage of her delivering on her route and her testimony on the difficulties of using the back-to-back method. National Union Representative Carl Girouard testified on the history of the arbitration on the two-bundle delivery methods. He walked the arbitrator through the many decisions, the ergonomic study relating to this unsafe delivery method and the need to have this finally resolved.