Today CUPW submitted a final offer to reach an agreement without a strike or lockout. There were several important amendments and clarifications to our positions. The entire offer can be viewed online at www.cupw.ca and has been distributed to CUPW locals. CPC management has not yet replied to the union although they issued a press release indicating that they are rejecting the union’s proposals.
OTTAWA, May 30, 2011 /CNW/ – The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) has made a final offer to Canada Post in the hopes of negotiating a settlement.
The offer includes several important amendments and clarifications to our positions and we are confident this offer can be accepted by CPC as the basis of a settlement.
CUPW has also given the notice, required by the Canada Labour Code, of its intent to strike if there is no settlement flowing from its final offer. The union will be in a legal position to strike on Thursday, June 2, 2011, at 11:59 p.m. EDT. The union said the notice puts pressure on Canada Post to actually negotiate.
“Striking is our only real bargaining lever with Canada Post and we have concluded that we must give notice that we are willing to use our legal right to strike to get a decent contract that meets the needs of our members and preserves public postal service,” said CUPW National President Denis Lemelin.
“After seven months of negotiations, Canada Post continues to demand major concessions, including unsafe work methods, a 22 per cent wage reduction for new hires and the elimination of a sick leave plan that members have had for over 40 years,” said Lemelin.
“Canada Post’s intransigence at the bargaining table has left the union with little choice but to accept unsafe and unfair conditions or strike. But we hope it won’t come to that.”
By LuAnn LaSalle, The Canadian Press
Canada Post has rejected its union’s latest contract proposal, saying the offer would increase the Crown corporation’s labour costs by $1.4 billion and include the possibility of raising postage prices.
The Crown corporation would need to raise the price of postage by 15 per cent or request government support to offset the expense, Canada Post said Tuesday in a statement.
“The union’s offer would add $1.4 billion of new costs to Canada Post over the life of the contract and provides no compromises to address the challenges facing the company,” Canada Post said in a statement.
Among those challenges, Canada Post said it has experienced a double-digit drop in the volume of mail in the last decade due to the emergence of electronic alternatives and has a pension deficit of $3 billion.
“This round of labour negotiations is critically important to the future of Canada Post and the Crown corporation’s ability to provide affordable postal services to Canadians without becoming a burden on taxpayers.”
Canada Post said it has put forward a counter offer and has not yet initiated a 72-hour notice for a lockout.
It said the union’s latest offer would give employees a 3.5 per cent wage increase in each year of a new 3 1/2-year agreement, including in the final six months of a new deal.
The union representing urban postal workers did not respond immediately to the counter-offer and couldn’t be reached for comment.
Catherine Swift of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business said even though there are electronic and other alternatives for businesses, that accepting the union’s offer would increase costs.
“Certainly, it’s not like it used to be but there’s still a reliance on mail,” said Swift, president and CEO of the organization which has more than 108,000 members.
“Obviously, things like couriers have to be considered, things like postponing getting in touch with suppliers because payments still come via the mail. It could affect cash flow very negatively if payments were held up from customers and suppliers and basically increase costs,” Swift said from Toronto.
“It’s a big nuisance, to put it mildly.”
The union had threatened job action if a deal wasn’t reached by this week but the lack of a 72-hour notice effectively means there wouldn’t be a strike or lockout before Friday.
An earlier agreement covering some 50,000 employees expired on Jan. 31, and talks on a new deal began last fall. Last week, Canada Post reached an agreement with the union to bring in volunteer postal workers in some provinces to deliver cheques to pensioners and those on social assistance should a labour disruption occur.
Federal Labour Minister Lisa Raitt urged both sides late last week to reach a deal to avert a potential disruption of the country’s mail service.
CALGARY (© Copyright (c) Shaw Media Inc.) – The union representing Canada Post employees says it will file a 72-hour strike notice on Friday.
“After months of talks, it’s time to draw our line in the sand,” said Bev Ray, president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) in Edmonton.
“We have now reached the point where we may have to give notice that in 72 hours, we will be forced to strike if Canada Post does not drop its rollbacks and address some of our demands.”
Ray says the proposed rollbacks from Canada Post are attacks on working-class people being able to earn a “living wage” and on the rights of Canadians to have a public postal service that reflects and response to the needs of their communities.
“Instead of focusing on service, Canada Post is driven solely by profits,” says Ray.
CUPW will give an update on its talks with Canada Post late Friday morning.
The threat by Canada Post workers to walk off their jobs as early as May 25 has mail-reliant businesses and operations across the country bracing for a potential disruption in service.
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers voted in late April in favour of striking if a collective agreement with Canada Post is not reached by May 24.
According to union president Denis Lemelin, union negotiators are focusing on a number of major issues in their final week of talks with Canada Post Corp. Major issues on the table include wages, staffing and disabilities.
With a week to go before the potential strike, the Canadian Bankers Association has issued a notice to bank customers to begin preparing for a halt in mail service.
Local postal workers are in a legal strike position on May 24 after their union voted 95 per cent in favour of strike action if they can’t reach an agreement with Canada Post.
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) is currently negotiating a new contract with Canada Post.
Paul Murray is president of the Collingwood local, which represents about 27 members, a combination of letter carriers and clerks.
Murray said workers are looking for pension protection and are trying to curb any rollbacks. He said the company is looking at introducing a two-tier wage and pension system for new hires.
The current employees would still have a defined pension plan, while new employees would have a different plan.
THE University of Manitoba’s 850 teaching assistants, markers, lab assistants and tutors are being urged to reject the university’s contract offer in a vote today.
Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3909 is urging its members to reject the deal, which calls for a two-year wage freeze, followed by two annual increases of 2.9 per cent a year.
U of M public affairs director John Danakas said the offer that the university asked CUPE to put before its members is consistent with deals that professors and other bargaining units have accepted.
But Local 3909 president Matt McLean said some bargaining units are getting some money in the second year, and other campus bargaining units get benefit increases — his members get none. With budget cuts across campus, “People have been asked to do more work with less hours,” McLean said.
McLean said that members get 60 to 80 hours work per semester, and get paid about $3,000 for a full academic year. Those with an undergraduate degree get $19.32 an hour, those still working on their first degree get $17.57.
There are no increments, he said: “The wage you make the first day is the wage you’ll make forever.”
Sessional lecturers are members of Local 3909, but are covered by a separate agreement. They are not involved in the current talks.
If members reject the contract offer, CUPE will ask the province to appoint a conciliation officer, McLean said. There are no immediate plans to go on strike.
Dow Jones quoted Mr. Wayne Rae United Steelworkers’ Union official as saying that Brazilian miner Vale SA may face difficult negotiations on renewing a collective labor contract at the Thompson, Manitoba, nickel mine and smelter in Canada when it expires in August or September 2011.
Mr. Rae said that negotiations may be tricky as Vale, the world’s second-biggest nickel producer, has already signaled losses of 500 jobs at the Thompson site where it will need to shut a smelter due to environmental restrictions. This will cut the workforce to 700 from the current 1,200.
Mr. Rae president of the USW local 6200 said that the forthcoming negotiations follow the recent settling of a year long strike at Vale’s Sudbury and Port Colborne nickel units, and a strike that stretched on for one and a half years at Voisey’s Bay in Newfoundland, resulting in an uneasy peace between labor and management, particularly due to the increase in the percentage of contracted out labor used at Vale’s nickel operations in the recent past.
He added that “Every grievance now goes to independent arbitration. Management and workers are unable to settle the disputes themselves.”
According to Mr. Rae, the current three year collective contract at Thompson was signed in 2008 and negotiations should be starting shortly. The company will need to shut down a smelter there, meaning that it won’t be able to operate its furnace at full capacity.
He said that mining will still continue at Thompson and ore will be shipped to Sudbury for processing. There is the possibility that a processing factory will be built in Voisey’s Bay.
Mr. Rae said that Vale officers in Canada were not immediately available for comment on the prospects for negotiations at Thompson. After a breakdown during collective contract negotiations at Sudbury and Voisey’s Bay, which led to the recent strikes, Vale’s Port Colborne workers accepted a new labor contract valid until 2015 while those at Voisey’s Bay agreed a contract lasting till 2016.