MEMBER’S BULLETIN ON THE STATUS OF THE UNION OFFICE

On July 25th the local union office was temporarily closed. The temporary closure was the result of the ceiling being compromised and water flooding into the back work area of the building.
A full time officer invoked their Right of Refusal. The local executive supports the full time officers or any member having rights to health and safety while working in the union office.
Communications were immediately sent out via mass email bulletin to members; Regional and National office, Executive Officers and Canada Post, with contact information.
Measures were taken to post information on the union office doors of how to contact the Full time officers during the temporary shutdown. The full time officers continued working from remote locations to ensure that the work of representing members continued and they remained fully accessible to the membership.
The necessary inspections were carried out, and the full time Health & Safety officer is completing the investigation. There will be a review of the Policy covering the Local union office (by the CUPW Local Health & Committee) and reports/recommendations to be provided in the near future.
The local Executive recognizes the inconvenience to the membership, but the operations of the business of the local office were not neglected or compromised during this period.
In solidarity,
An Injury to one is an Injury to ALL…….
On behalf of the
Edmonton CUPW Local (730) Executive Officers

Aug. 25/14

CUPW’s Plan for Our Public Postal Service

July 24, 2014 – 12:00

Save Canada Post / Bulletin

2011-2015/293

On December 11, 2013, Canada Post Corporation announced a plan to change public postal service as we know it and the federal government endorsed this plan.

CUPW recognizes that Canada Post needs to change, but does not think that offering less service for higher rates is the way forward. The union has developed a more viable plan for the corporation’s future called A Better Public Postal Service For Everyone! It’s Time:

Fair postage rates:
Recently the Conservatives authorized increases of 35% to 59% for individuals. The increases for business mailers were 15% to 19%. That’s not fair. Postage rates should be affordable and equal for everyone.

Accessible delivery:
The Conservative government is supporting Canada Post’s plan to eliminate door-to-door delivery to more than 5 million homes. This will cause serious problems for people with restricted mobility. Canada Post should maintain door-to-door delivery and convert to more door-to-door delivery as finances permit. It’s time to put people first!

Maintaining rural and urban post offices:
Canada Post management has been closing post offices. It’s time to make better use of the largest retail network in the country to provide more services to the public.

Re-introducing financial services:
It’s time for Canada Post to follow the example of postal services in countries such as Switzerland, France, the UK and Italy and use its network to provide banking and financial services.

Transparency and accountability:
Back-room meetings and secret studies have to end. We need real consultation. Canada Post’s 800-page secret study described postal banking as a “win-win” strategy. It’s time for truth instead of cover-ups and spin.

A greener post:
Canada Post is an environmentally positive option for parcels and courier items. It’s time to consolidate delivery services for consumers and reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions.

Respect and decent working conditions:
Postal workers deserve safe and healthy working conditions. It’s time to make this a priority.

Join us and help make this happen! Contact your local.

You can obtain this plan in handout form by going to SaveCanadaPost.ca.

In solidarity,

Denis Lemelin
National President

Prime Minister has Interest in Postal Privatization

July 24, 2014 – 12:00

Canada Post / Bulletin

2011-2015/295

CUPW recently obtained clear evidence that the Prime Minister’s office is researching the privatization of public postal service.

Senior staff sent the following secret memo to Stephen Harper that discussed the privatization of U.K’s Royal Mail just two months before Canada Post Corporation announced its cutbacks.

Blacklock’s Reporter – the same group of journalists who broke the news of Canada Post management’s secret postal banking study – obtained this heavily censored document via an Access to Information Request.

We always suspected the Conservatives were interested in privatization. By letting Canada Post implement its Five-Point Plan, the federal government is making Canada Post more attr active to private sector investors by cutting the cost of operating the post office. First they try to convince the public the service is in trouble, and then they will sell it out from under us. If privatization happens, the public will lose an important and valuable service. We will not allow this to happen.

As a result of our taking action on this news story, the Prime Minister’s Office was forced to issue a statement saying they have no plan to privatize. Now it’s on the record, but we know that we will have to stay vigilant to hold Harper to his word.

The censored memo is attached to this bulletin for your information.

In solidarity,

Denis Lemelin
National President

Canada Post pension plan, target benefit plan consultations, what is the union doing?

July 25, 2014 – 12:00

Pension / Bulletin

2011-2015/296
The Facts

Contrary to what you might have read on social media and elsewhere, the Union is not in consultation with the Corporation to deal with problems, real or imagined, facing the CPC pension plan or the Corporation’s inability to meet its funding obligations. Further, the Union’s participation in the Federal Government’s consultation on Target Benefit Plans in the federal sector is only tangentially connected to our concerns over Canada Post’s plans for our Defined Benefit Plan.

Shortly after the Minister of Finance provided Canada Post with special funding relief in respect of the CPC pension plan, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) turned its attention to the plan as a “plan in trouble”. The Unions representing active plan members took that opportunity to express to OSFI our dissatisfaction with Canada Post’s performance as plan administrator and asked that CPC be replaced by a competent administrator that would not have a conflict of interest in making decisions that might benefit the plan but be a detriment to the sponsor.

In consideration of our request, OSFI convened a meeting of the leaders of the bargaining units along with senior CPC management and CPC pension plan administrators to hear first hand the difficulties in the plan administration. They also attended a portion of a meeting of the Pension Advisory Council to see if what we had been saying about Canada Post’s arrogance and disregard for plan members’ concerns were true.

As a result, OSFI has put on hold its decision with respect to CPC’s role as plan administrator and instead directed the parties to jointly develop a communications and consultation framework (“Framework”). The Framework, once developed, would be the vehicle for consultations and/or negotiations on all issues that might affect funding and benefits, including plan restructuring. In our view, the Framework must provide all stakeholders with access to and participation in any consultations and/or negotiations on changes that may affect them. This includes ensuring that retirees have a say in who represents them during any consultation process.

OSFI imposed a deadline on the parties to develop the Framework by the end of August. A request by Canada Post for an extension in respect of this work was refused by OSFI. A nomination and election process to determine retiree representation on the Framework Committee would have taken six to eight weeks, thereby leaving no time for a committee to discuss and develop the Framework.

A CUPW PAC representative suggested each bargaining agent appoint a retiree from their own group of retirees to participate in the Framework Committee discussions. This suggestion was readily agreed to by all parties around the table being elected bargaining agent representatives, Canada Post management and CPC pension plan representatives. This decision was communicated to OSFI who has not objected to the make-up of the Framework Committee.

The Framework Committee has no mandate to discuss the funding/benefit issues facing the CPC pension plan and, therefore, will not deal with plan design, changes to the structure of the plan in terms of funding or benefits, or any other issue facing the plan.

OSFI expects all parties to act in good faith in the development of the Framework. A failure by the bargaining agents to do so will provide Canada Post with the opportunity to tell OSFI that their administration is fine, all the problems lie with Union intransigence.

Target Benefit Plan Consultation

Concurrent with our dealings with OSFI over the CPC pension plan, the federal government began a period of consultation on Target Benefit Plans (TBP’s) for the federal sector. While the CPC pension plan issues were a factor in the government’s decision to begin these consultations, there are many more reasons the Tories are doing this, including the New Brunswick implementation of TBP’s and the Tories desire to attack the Public Service Superannuation Plan. The fact that federally approved and enabled TBP’s would be attractive to Canada Post in its own pension plan struggles cannot be ignored.

With the assistance of legal counsel and our own actuaries, the Union made a submission to the government on TBP’s. We made it clear that TBP’s are not a solution to the difficulties currently facing many Defined Benefit (DB) plans. We answered the majority of the questions put by the government in their TBP consultation paper and took the opportunity to describe how DB plans could be structured to make them stable and sustainable, even in times of low interest rates.

Our submission was not designed to address Canada Post’s pension problems nor their Five-Point Plan. The intended audience was government pension experts and legislators. The Union of course supports the Canadian Labour Congress campaigns to expand and enhance the Canada Pension Plan.

The submission itself is on the Department of Finance website along with all the other TBP consultation submissions.

In solidarity,

George Kuehnbaum
National Secretary-Treasurer

Lump Sum Payments – Group 2 Employees

August 11, 2014 – 00:00

Grievance and Arbitration / Bulletin

2008-2011/298

Many Group 2 members received extra payments under codes 1814 and 1825 on their July 31st pay cheque. In letters to the members, Canada Post stated that these payments were ‟… a one-time lump sum retroactive payment …”to employees affected by delays in updating the loading and unloading times on various delivery routes. The amount of the payment varied considerably from member to member.

Your Union agrees that members should be compensated when Canada Post does not properly structure routes. However, in this case, the Union was not consulted on Canada Post’s decision to make this payment, on the means of calculation, or on the determination of who should be paid.

In a letter on July 24, 2014, CUPW protested the total lack of consultation and demanded that Canada Post explain how it calculated the amounts to be paid, how it determine who should be paid and why the payment is a ‟lump-sum” payment. This item will be on the agenda for our next Group 2 consultation.

CUPW has also reserved the right to file a grievance should we disagree with the calculations made by Canada Post.

Further information will be communicated as it becomes available.

In solidarity,

Philippe Arbour
National Grievance Officer