UPCE National Executive reply to the Global Offer

The UPCE National Executive Supports your Bargaining Team

Negotiating a new collective agreement on behalf of a membership is never an easy task. In fact, it is a responsibility that everyone takes very seriously. The UPCE National Executive has complete faith and trust in both the bargaining team, and in the longstanding process the Union continues to follow.

Is Canada Post blaming the Union for what they consider to be slow negotiations?

Yes, we think so.

As you all know, the Union of Postal Communications Employees (UPCE), is a Component of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC). The UPCE is responsible for most day-to-day representation, but the PSAC is, by law, recognized as our bargaining agent. The bargaining process is a shared responsibility between the UPCE and the PSAC.

Within the UPCE, our bargaining team is democratically elected at the bargaining conference, to represent the entire membership. A demands package is created from the demands the team receives from our Locals. Since the team is democratically elected to represent the membership, demands from the employer, especially major concessions, usually create a need for significant research and discussion. In contrast to what Canada Post seems to infer, there is more to negotiations than simply meeting face-to-face.

 

Why is Canada Post trying to expedite the process?

There could be a number of reasons, but the following theories are worth some consideration:

1. The CUPW agreements with Canada Post are going to expire by January 2018. The UPCE-PSAC could still be negotiating with Canada Post at the same time CUPW is negotiating their agreements, something we speculate Canada Post is trying to avoid.

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2. The Canada Post Review Process, currently underway with the Government of Canada, could still bring significant changes to Canada Post. While the recommendations from the review were supposed to be debated in the Spring, Canada Post is expecting a decision from the government before the end of 2017. We have also just been advised that Deepak Chopra is leaving as of March 2018. Perhaps Mr. Chopra was informally provided with some information that has yet to be disclosed?

3. In the past, Canada Post has tinkered with the performance management system and has even piloted new initiatives. However, the system is still broken since it continues to incentivize concerning behaviors. Canada Post Managers and Executives are at times tasked with finding “cost savings.” Cost savings are often achieved by deleting positions within a department which results in the redistribution of work and increased workloads. We have certainly objected to this practice from different perspectives, including one of mental health.

The same concept can be applied to negotiations. If reaching an agreement is a performance management objective for members of the Canada Post Executive, personal financial interest, at the detriment of good labour relations and good-faith bargaining, would certainly be one of the driving forces behind the arbitrary date for settlement provided by the corporation.

All this being said, like Canada Post, your National Executive and your Bargaining Team, would like to see an expeditious conclusion to this matter.

There is still much here to be discussed before the membership is approached for their vote to accept or reject any offer from Canada Post. The team will certainly update the membership on their position on the offer after they meet with Canada Post.

Until then, your Bargaining Team will continue to do the job that it was elected and entrusted to do. And we hope that we can all continue to support our bargaining team as it continues to carry-out and fulfill its responsibilities with utmost patience, perseverance, integrity, diligence, and attention. After all, rushing towards a settlement based on an arbitrary date is not the solution, since there is much more at play here than a mere $500 “signing bonus.”

Always in solidarity,

UPCE National Executive

UPCE Executive reply to global offer

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