I wanted to write you to share my thoughts during this difficult period. No matter what job you do at Canada Post, our current situation affects you personally. I understand the uncertainty and strain of the last few months have made this a difficult time for everyone at Canada Post. While we continue working at the negotiating table with the assistance of the special mediator, efforts to reach negotiated settlements with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers have unfortunately failed to this point to find the common ground necessary to reach a resolution. We are now advising Canadians we will make best efforts to deliver the holidays, but they should expect lengthy delays as we deal with backlogs across our network. This is unfortunate given our proud tradition of delivering the holidays, but it is our current reality.
I am therefore writing to acknowledge your concerns and thank you for your contributions and patience through this process. First it’s important to recognize that many of you are in the middle of an important and difficult discussion about your livelihoods. Something that is very personal to most families is part of a very public discussion. Yet, despite these challenging circumstances, you continue to process and deliver mail to the best of your abilities. Everyone working in our operations has done a tremendous job keeping things moving and doing their best to support each other at a time when patience and understanding can be strained. Our shipping customers have also shown tremendous patience as it is their livelihoods, and the livelihoods of their employees that are also at stake.
Throughout this period, I want to reassure you that we made all decisions with our employees in mind. We’ve tabled offers that we believe are fair, recognize the contributions of employees and respond to the union’s concerns such as health and safety, which we agree requires increased attention in every respect. Our commitment to work collaboratively on important issues with the union on an ongoing basis has been sincere. When strike action began, terms and conditions changed, but we took measures to ensure cases of extenuating circumstances and undue hardship are addressed on a compassionate basis.
We have made numerous efforts to resolve these negotiations and return to normal operation. In doing so, we had to reach a difficult balance, because we also have an obligation to keep the postal service strong and financially viable, not just for today, but also for future generations. In our efforts to find the middle ground necessary to reach an agreement, we have made every effort to be fair to employees while also being responsible.
There is still a long way to go, but this stressful chapter at Canada Post will come to an end. When we do move forward, I recognize there will be work to do to repair many relationships – with customers, with Canadians, with unions, and especially with employees. The postal service is an incredibly resilient institution, but together we must win back the confidence of our customers. Together, our service and dedication will be imperative as we regain the trust of Canadians. We have work to do to improve our relationship with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers to build a strong postal service for the future. Finally, and most importantly, we are committed to always act with the best interest of our employees at heart, and ensure this guides our decisions.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, and the senior leadership team, I sincerely thank each and every one of you for all you have done during this difficult period and all you do every day to serve Canadians.
Chair of the Board of Directors and Interim President and CEO
CUPW has formally declined the offer made this morning, and we understand based on the most recent CUPW bulletin that they are “Rejecting Binding Arbitration”.
In response, Jessica McDonald, Chair of the Board of Directors and Interim President and CEO of Canada Post, has reached out directly to Mike Palecek, National President of CUPW, to remove the condition of binding arbitration from our latest proposal of a cooling-off period.
Every other element of our offer, including the special payment of up to $1,000 for CUPW-represented employees, remains valid until 5 pm ET today.
Canada Post offers special payment of up to $1,000 to all CUPW-represented employees as part of a last-ditch effort to deliver the holidays
With no deal emerging from the weekend’s efforts, Canada Post is focusing on saving the holiday season deliveries that are so critical for retailers, charities and Canadians.
In a last-ditch effort to deliver the holidays, Canada Post has proposed to the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) that the two parties work together through January during a cooling-off period that would immediately end rotating strikes, allow for mediation to resume and introduce a process to achieve a final resolution.
“With the rotating strikes, resulting backlogs, and the massive Black Friday and Cyber Monday volumes that will arrive within days, we are trying everything we can to work together with the union – urgently – to deliver the holidays to Canadians,” says Jessica McDonald, Chair of the Board of Directors and Interim President and CEO. “This proposal also includes a way for the parties to resolve their differences and these negotiations.”
There is an urgent need for Canada Post to restore full operations. With hundreds of trailers loaded with parcels already backlogged at our facilities – and the growing repercussions for customers and the Canadian retail economy –this proposal is open for acceptance until 5:00 p.m. on November 19. After that time, Canada Post would lose its last window of opportunity to clear the backlogs before the oncoming wave of volumes reaches its facilities.
In an effort to restore full operations and deliver oncoming volumes, Canada Post is proposing:
• A cooling-off period, effective immediately and lasting until January 31, 2019, which is past the holiday peak volumes, as well as high volumes driven by Boxing Day sales and the return of holiday purchases in January. During the cooling-off period, CUPW would not strike or take any other job action, and the Corporation would not lock out employees;
• Immediately starting further mediation with a jointly-agreed, government-appointed mediator until the end of the cooling-off period;
• A special payment of up to $1,000 for CUPW-represented employees that would be paid at the end of January if there is no labour disruption before the cooling-off period ends;
• To reinstate both collective agreements with CUPW, including all employee benefits, for the duration of the cooling-off period;
• If agreements have not been reached by January 31, the mediator would submit recommendations for settlement. If they are not adopted by the parties, binding arbitration would be introduced.
Canada Post is making this proposal in a spirit of cooperation and in hope of delivering the holidays to Canadians and avoiding the significant financial and economic damage that would be felt if rotating strikes continued.
Today, Canada Post tabled a significant, time-limited offer to quickly bring discussions to a close and reach negotiated settlements with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW), both Urban and RSMC.
Both offers include pay increases for all employees of 2 per cent per year for four years. We are also taking the extraordinary measure of offering a signing bonus of up to $1,000 for full-time employees and pro-rated for others to ensure we can all deliver holiday mail and parcels to Canadians while minimizing delay.
This offer also includes improvements to address the Union’s concerns around workloads and other issues. For example, for RSMCs, we now propose to give job security to route holders with 10 years of continuous service as a route holder or permanent relief employee, and we now propose weekend parcel delivery payments of $2 for each parcel.
In order to reinforce our commitment regarding the health and safety of our employees, we are also proposing a new $10-million Health and Safety Fund. It will pay for jointly identified initiatives that will accelerate our progress to improving our safety and reduce all incidents.
The offer contains significant improvements designed to conclude negotiations and get us all ready for the holiday season. It is all we can afford and represents the best opportunity to resolve negotiations.
If we can’t reach a resolution by 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, November 17, 2018, it will unfortunately have to be withdrawn and re-evaluated based on the real and lasting impact that continued disruptions at this time of year would have on our customers and our business.
An important message to CUPW-represented employees and the offers are below.
CUPW offers – Message to employees and summaries (Urban & RSMC)
We will continue to keep you informed of key developments through your team leaders and the Negotiations Hub.
While we remain at the bargaining table, ready to negotiate, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) today began strike action. As a result, Canada Post will follow the process in the Canada Labour Code to change the terms and conditions of your employment.
Read a letter from Interim Chief Human Resources Officer Ann Therese MacEachern about this.
Read the details of the new terms and conditions of employment for employees represented by CUPW-Urban.
We will continue to keep you informed of developments through your team leaders and the Negotiations Hub online. You can also see updates by visiting canadapost.ca and clicking on “I’m an employee.”
As you may be aware, the Union has filed a strike notice, which means they could begin strike action as early as Monday, October 22. I realize that creates uncertainty for you and your family about things that affect you personally, so I am writing to provide clarity and to reassure you as much as I can.
With the Union’s strike notice, the Corporation could legally revert the terms and conditions of your employment to the statutory minimums under the Canada Labour Code. However, we do not intend to change the terms and conditions unless the Union initiates some form of legal job action.
Even if that happens, we would continue to provide you and your eligible dependents the following benefits: dental, vision & hearing and the Extended Health Care Plan (EHCP) – including applicable prescription drug coverage. There is more information in this terms and conditions document.
We do not wish to cause any undue hardship to you and, if we implement new terms and conditions and receive requests for exceptions from employees who face extenuating circumstances that we could not reasonably foresee, we will review them in an effort to offer relief on a compassionate basis.
We will continue to negotiate with the Union. Our goal is to reach a negotiated settlement that recognizes your significant contribution to the company’s success and sets us on a more collaborative path.
I’m confident we will find a better way forward that supports all of you in your daily efforts to serve Canadians in urban, suburban and rural communities. I ask for your continued patience as we work through this process.
Ann Therese MacEachern,
Interim Chief Human Resources Officer
The Comment feature in the Negotiations Hub is a forum where Canada Post employees can express ideas and opinions on the topics discussed in the posts. By using this site and submitting a comment, you agree to the terms and conditions of the Comment policy.
While we encourage you all to get involved, we also want to make sure that Canada Post is consistently represented across all platforms. The social media employee policy and the related practices outline some of the key concepts for using social media.